Faith Communities condemn violence against women

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Media Release: Faith Communities Council of Victoria, 25 November 2011:
On behalf of Victoria’s faith communities, we, the members of the Multifaith Advisory Group (MAG), join together on White Ribbon Day to voice our support for women affected by violence and to unequivocally denounce such violence.

Violence against women is a sad reality in the Victorian and Australian community, lurking in the shadows and impacting on those of all ages, faiths, ethnicities, education levels and socio-economic statuses.

We come together to pray for the women, children and families who are afflicted by violence in all its forms – acknowledging that violence is not only physical and that those who witness violence are among its victims.

Violence against women cannot be tolerated. Such violence is emboldened and perpetuated by ignorance, fear and silence. We will not remain silent, and we will not allow this issue to be consigned to the fringe of public and interfaith dialogue. It is the responsibility of all faith communities to come together against violence.

We stand united to reaffirm that:

  • Violence in all its many forms is unacceptable.
  • We will defend the rights of those affected by violence.
  • Our faith communities will embrace those affected by violence and work to prevent such violence.
  • Violence is and will continue to be denounced in our respective faith practices and teachings.
  • All members of the Victorian community are entitled to dignity and respect.

We commend the work of the people and organisations who have made it their mission to support and protect those who are impacted by or at risk of violence. Initiatives such as the Northern Interfaith Respectful Relationships Project are vital to pro-actively responding to violence against women. We call on State and Federal Government agencies to continue to support this and similar programs as a means of preventing violence against women.

The protection of the vulnerable and care for those affected by violence are fundamental principles in all of our respective faiths and traditions. The faiths and communities that we represent have not, do not and will not accept violence in any form or in any setting. In order to put into action these shared principles, the MAG will explore in 2012 ways in which we as faith leaders and peak faith organisation representatives can more effectively prevent violence within our own communities.

We take White Ribbon Day as an opportunity to make this commitment; categorically condemn all forms of violence, particularly that affecting women; and voice our shared support for victims.

The Multifaith Advisory Group consists of senior representatives from Victoria's diverse faith communities including the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and interfaith communities. The MAG represents the voice of Victoria's faith leaders to the Victorian Government through the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (Department of Premier and Cabinet).

Media contact: Theo Mackaay, Faith Communities Council of Victoria, M: 0407 082 607


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