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Cender-based vlolence ls a scourge on our world and our nauon. SLorles of forced
marrlages, female genlLal muulauon, prosuLuuon rackeLs, and rape belng used as a weapon
of war are slckenlng boLh ln Lhelr prevalence and Lhelr bruLallLy, whlle here ln Lhe uk
beLween a quarLer and half of all women experlence domesuc vlolence, sexual assaulL or
sLalklng aL some polnL ln Lhelr llves.
A number of organlsauons ln Lhls eld have come LogeLher Lo promoLe WhlLe 8lbbon uay
(november 23
), followed by 16 days of acuvlsm agalnsL gender-based vlolence. As a slgn of
solldarlLy wlLh Lhls movemenL, Lhe MoLher's unlon has produced an acuon pack
(downloadable from Lhelr webslLe), Lhe organlsauon '8esLored' has developed lLs 'llrsL Man
SLandlng' campalgn, and 64 servlng blshops ln Lhe Church of Lngland wlll be wearlng a whlLe
rlbbon on Lhe 23
and playlng some parL ln Lhe days LhaL follow.
ln my prevlous parlsh mlnlsLry l came across gender-based vlolence boLh wlLhln and ouLslde
Lhe church, and was a LrusLee of SouLhwark Welcare, whlch supporLs slngle parenL famllles
and vlcums of domesuc abuse. l was lnsplred ln Lhls, ln parL, by my grandmoLher, a
mlsslonary docLor ln souLh-wesL Chlna, who was campalgnlng agalnsL vlolence on young
glrls, especlally Lhe cruel pracuce of fooL blndlng, way back ln Lhe 1920s.
When Lhls lssue arose ln Lhe anel for World Mlsslon and Lhe Angllcan Communlon, whlch l
chalr, l was Lherefore keen Lo geL blshops on board wlLh WhlLe 8lbbon uay, and am dellghLed
LhaL so many have Laken up Lhe challenge. l also look forward Lo a debaLe on Lhls sub[ecL aL
Ceneral Synod ln 2014.
Cn a personal level, l lnLend Lo spend a good parL of november 23
llsLenlng Lo vlcums of
abuse, and Lhose who work among Lhem here ln 8lrmlngham, whlle l'm also dellghLed Lo be
speaklng aL a celebrauon of Lhe charlLy Asha ln WesLmlnsLer CenLral Pall, whlch for 23 years
has been empowerlng women Lo make an exLraordlnary dlerence Lo Lhelr llves and
communlues ln Lhe slums of uelhl."

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