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National & International Leaders

Leaders and organizations, primarily grounded in faith traditions, with decades of experience in providing training and resources to prevent and respond to domestic and sexual violence, and elder abuse.

CONNECT: Safe Families, Peaceful Communities

Founded in 1993, CONNECT is a leading, non-profit training, educational and advocacy organization dedicated to the prevention and elimination of interpersonal violence in New York City.

Vision: The realization of a society based on mutuality, respect and social justice where institutions are accountable, communities are peaceful, families are safe and individuals are empowered.

Mission: CONNECT is dedicated to preventing interpersonal violence and promoting gender justice. By building partnerships with individuals and communities, CONNECT strives to help change the beliefs, behaviors and institutions that perpetuate violence. Through legal empowerment, grassroots mobilization and transformative education, CONNECT seeks to create safe families and peaceful communities.

Faith Trust Institute

FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic violence.

Founded in 1977 by the Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, FaithTrust Institute offers a wide range of services and resources, including training, consulting and educational materials. We provide communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the religious and cultural issues related to abuse. We work with many communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander, Buddhist, Jewish, Latino/a, Muslim, Black, Anglo, Indigenous, Protestant and Roman Catholic.

Jewish Women International

JWI is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls – through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and the proliferation of women’s leadership.

Our innovative programs, advocacy and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength.

Peaceful Families Project

PFPis a national organization with international reach devoted to ending domestic violence. Our mission is to work towards ending all types of abuse in Muslim families by increasing awareness regarding the dynamics of domestic violence. We believe that a better understanding of religious and cultural values can be used as a resource to prevent domestic violence, and that religion and culture should never be used to justify abusive behavior. Through education and training, we seek to promote attitudes and beliefs that emphasize justice, freedom from oppression, and family harmony.

Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can affect anyone. Whatever your age, race, class, ethnicity, country of origin, first language, sexual orientation, or degree of able-bodiness, domestic violence can affect any of us. In fact, one in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.

Unfortunately, domestic violence affects people of every faith as well. No matter what your tradition, domestic violence may affect your home, your family, your neighbors, your community, your friends, or your congregation.

In fact, sometimes batterers use faith as a weapon. Batterers may say that the victim must forgive, that the victim must live with the abuse, or must keep the family together at any cost, all in the name of faith. This forces victims to choose between their personal safety and their faith. Many faithful people choose to remain faithful even if it means living in danger. One victim said, “I turned the other cheek, and turned the other cheek, until I ran out of faces.”

Safe Havens was founded for all victims and survivors who have “run out of faces.” At Safe Havens, we believe that no one should have to choose between faith and safety. We are a small grassroots interfaith agency that promotes hope and justice for victims and survivors of domestic violence and elder abuse.

Working as a bridge, Safe Havens strengthens the capacity of diverse faith communities and service providers to engage in collaborative efforts that address domestic violence and elder abuse. Safe Havens develops and provides education, resources, and technical assistance for service providers and faith leaders in order to improve community responses to domestic violence.

We Will Speak Out

‘We Will Speak Out’ is a global coalition of like-minded Christian organisations, international aid agencies and an alliance of individuals who together commit themselves to see the end of sexual violence across communities around the world.

The Issue

Though often prevalent in conflict and humanitarian contexts, sexual violence is common within communities worldwide – but as an issue it remains largely hidden. Women, girls, men and boys are all at risk of sexual violence.

UN statistics find that:

  • Today, many women – in some countries as many as one in three – are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetimes
  • Worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime
  • On the basis of data collected from 24,000 women in ten countries, between 55 and 95 per cent of women who have been physically abused by their partners have never contacted NGOs, shelters or the police for help

UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, 2009

Our Mission

The Church is part of communities worldwide, with a mandate to care and stand with people who are marginalised and vulnerable. Shame and fear often lead to sexual violence being hidden in both churches and the wider community.

The coalition partnership works to harness efforts to end sexual violence together by supporting the church to speak out against sexual violence, show strong and positive leadership and become a ‘safe’ place for people to go to.

As a coalition, we can work together to influence legislation and policies with a united voice. We seek to give a voice to those who are most marginalised and create platforms for their voices to be heard.