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Bishops support Mothers’ Union campaign to end violence against women and girls

by Donna Birrell

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are among Church of England bishops calling for the church and wider community to support a Mothers’ Union campaign calling for an end to abuse and violence against women and girls.

The Christian organisation, which is staging a Global Day of Action, says one in three women world-wide has experienced domestic and sexual violence - with numbers soaring during pandemic lockdowns. 

Members and supporters of Mothers' Union will be coming together for three minutes of silence at 1.03pm today (Saturday) to raise awareness of the issue.  

The Global Day of Action is the organisation’s response to the call for 16 days of global activism against gender-based violence, a UN women’s initiative, launched in 1991.  The Global 16 Days campaign runs annually from November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day).  
The CEO of Mothers’ Union, Bev Jullien says that being at the heart of communities means Mothers’ Union campaigns such as #nomore1in3 are driven by the experience and practical action that its members are a part of every day.  

“Our members will be meeting in venues across Britain and Ireland - from cathedrals to shopping centres and churches to their own living rooms, uniting to call for action against the abuse suffered by so many women and girls.   
“Lockdown and the recent media coverage around the shocking deaths of Sarah Everard,  Sabina Nessa, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, only serve to confirm why more must be done on this issue now.”   

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said:

“Mothers’ Union is not just doing a great job in raising awareness of violence against women, but also confronting it. The whole church needs to be involved in this campaign, and men and boys must step up and recognise the change that is needed to truly combat this issue.”  

The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, said:

“So often abuse is hidden and so it’s fantastic that Mothers’ Union is bringing this to light by highlighting the dreadful statistic, that one in three women suffer abuse and violence.    
“Despite our best efforts, I, along with Mothers’ Union, were very disappointed by one of the outcomes of the Domestic Abuse Bill, now Act, because we didn’t manage to achieve what we wanted in relation to migrant women. So, despite progress, more must be done and that will only happen if people are aware of statistics like this.  Domestic abuse happens in homes and communities, including members of church communities and people are often not aware – that is why this campaign is so important.”  

Bev Jullien said :

 “Members of Mothers’ Union are able to make a practical difference locally, but also unite to call for change and action regionally, nationally and internationally, thanks to our links with the UN.   
“We are always looking for more people to join our movement and won’t rest until the abuse of and violence against women is eliminated.”  

Mothers’ Union was founded 145 years ago by Mary Sumner and is a movement of 4 million Christians in 84 countries world-wide.


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