Violence and abuse against women and girls (VAWG)


Six-part series: As UK leaders consider how to protect women and girls, how can evangelicals advocate for change?

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Woman silhouette colour

The tragic murders of Julia James, Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, Sabina Nessa and Caoimhe Morgan propelled the violence against women and girls debate back into public conversation last year. Since then, there has been a growing sense of national outrage at how little has been achieved in reducing violence and abuse against women and girls. As the police and policymakers promise reform, where is the Christian voice in all of this?

In short, the answer is in the centre of local communities. The Covid-19 pandemic saw churches, Christian charities and leaders at their best, serving and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our society. As evangelicals continue to take the good news of Jesus into their local communities, we must do so with greater awareness of the violence pandemic affecting lives and ruining families.

Violence and abuse towards women and girls affect young girls in the classroom, female undergraduates on the university campus and women travelling to and from the workplace.

In 2019, the Office for National Statistics year ending survey found 5.1 million women aged 18 to 74 years had experienced some form of abuse before the age of 16 (our emphasis). This stat highlights a worrying trend in teenage girls experiencing some form of abuse at an early age. It is important that the local church establishes pastoral and financial support to those parents, families and females dealing with the lasting impacts of abuse and violence.

But what is violence against women and girls (VAWG)?

VAWG is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range of abuse that research has shown disproportionately affects women and girls, such as: domestic abuse, harassment, sexual assault, rape, revenge porn, upskirting, forced marriage and so many others.

Since 1981, the UK government has been a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and with that comes a responsibility to act and to promote legislative changes and service provision that reduces VAWG across society.

What to expect from this series

As you engage with this series, members of our advocacy team will set out the government’s current strategy to reduce violence against women and girls but also showcase member organisation resources and campaigns to better equip church leaders and Christians in their role to promote the safety and God-given dignity all women and girls should enjoy.

VAWG series: Will the church be change-makers?

VAWG series: Will the church be change-makers?

Part five: How can the church help create safe spaces for all who experience abuse, including women who have no recourse to public funds?
VAWG series: How can men be allies?

VAWG series: How can men be allies?

Part four: conversation with student Caleb French on his experiences with Restored's First Man Standing campaign, being an ally to women, and seeking cultural change
VAWG series: Radical relationships

VAWG series: Radical relationships

Part three: As disciples of Jesus, are our relationships with others, family, platonic and professional, modelled on Christ’s humility and meekness?
VAWG series: Christians have a role to play

VAWG series: Christians have a role to play

Part two: biblical guiding principles to inform how we the church live out our faith in the public square as we speak out on violence against women and girls
VAWG series: We need more than policy to resolve this problem

VAWG series: We need more than policy to resolve this problem

Part one: An overview of the UK government’s current strategy to tackle violence and abuse against women and girls