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16 days of action and faith

It is currently the 16 Days of Action, a period of time between 25th November and 10th December where there is an increased focus on domestic abuse and the affects it has.

I’m a firm believer that it takes all of us to not only notice when someone is being abused, but to help them seek expert advice if they are. This doesn’t mean we all need to become experts, but there are simple things that we can do to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities, those that work for us, and others we know and meet, are safe.

There are loads of expert websites and information out there, but there is a clear reason why faith groups need to be aware of domestic abuse:

  1. Faith is a trusted place
  2. Faith groups are often employers

Faith is a trusted place

No matter what faith, there is an understanding that when in a place of faith or speaking to someone of faith, there is a level of trust. Faith is often seen as a safe place. Victims of domestic abuse might feel more able to disclose to someone of faith or within a faith setting—particularly if it is outside of their own faith community or setting. The victim can then potentially access support and help safely, without alerting the perpetrator. So as a faith place, or a person of faith, what should you do?

FaithAction has written a resource for faith leaders which you can find on our Faith Health Portal here—but it’s important to know not only that someone might disclose, but what to do afterwards. Do you know a local domestic abuse charity that you can refer people to? How do you refer someone to them? What happens if someone can’t go home, or if there are children involved?

It doesn’t take long to research these things. Why not make a commitment during these 16 Days of Action to look into these things and help better educate yourself and your community?

Faith groups are often employers

As an employer too, you may be in a position where someone discloses to you ,or you may notice things during someone’s employment.

I’ve been an ambassador for the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV) for many years now. They know that 75% of people who endure domestic abuse are targeted at work. 58% of abused women miss at least 3 days of work a month. Therefore, as an employer, you have a unique opportunity to identify issues like this and act on what you find.

If you want further information, or contact with others around this area, be sure to check out the amazing website for 16 Days of Action. There is a toolkit specifically for employers on there as well, so please do take a look