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World News

Study shows Christian charities leading the way in caring for women experiencing abuse

by Sophie Drew

A study into Christian organisations has revealed that faith-related practices can have a huge effect on women facing disadvantages, including abuse, poverty and violence. 

Theos Think Tank has published their latest report in line with International Women's Day.

The research suggests that certain religious practices - such as prayer - can have a hugely positive impact on both service-users and staff. 

Chine Mcdonald, from Theos, said: "Often the Christian charities organisations have a distinctive approach, which can help these women who are facing abuse and trauma and sexual exploitation and poverty and a variety of different disadvantages. 

"Some of the things that we found were that there are really trusting relationships that are found in these Christian organisations - the faith and the values of staff and their volunteers actually informs the way that they meet and receive the women; they see them as women, equal made in the image of God. 

"One particularly interesting thing we found was this idea of prayer as reflective practice in the work itself. 

"Across social care there is a focus on reflective practice; we found that actually, prayer is a really interesting form of reflective practice.

"It gives the opportunity to assess the work that's being done and pray for the individuals, to pray for the work to hand over the difficult situations that also the staff and volunteers find themselves in to God. 

"We also found that many Christian organisations working in this sector, also have the advantage of being rooted in faith communities, that can actually fundraise for the women that they work with. 

"So a lot of our organisations outside of the church, or outside faith based organisations, are struggling with resources and funding, often declines and in funding.

"Actually, the communities that surround these organisations can mean that they can fundraise to better equip themselves to help these women. 

"Also the faith motivations and the theological understanding that every human being has made in God's image, which encourages the staff and volunteers to treat the women as an equal worth that's deserving of stability, care and love."

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