19 June 2024

Anglican Church ramps up action on violence against women

Conference begins mapping out national response to violence scourge

By Jo Salve

Following the release of the first known National Church study into the prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) within a faith community, representatives of the Anglican Church have come together to begin to map out a national church approach to the prevention of violence against women.

Last week, the Church held a National Anglican Family Violence Working Group Conference with representatives from across the country to learn from the research, share what is working on the ground and put in place concrete steps to address the scourge of IPV.

The virtual Conference follows the release of the research’s top line results and the Church’s 10 Commitments to prevent and respond to violence.

The Church is now releasing the full research reports conducted by NCLS Research.

The Primate of the Church, the Most Reverend Geoffrey Smith said the conference was crucial to developing practical strategies that will make a difference on the ground.

“This conference is important because we need to respond to the reality our research exposed with practical, locally based strategies.”

Jo Salve

Convenor of the National Anglican Family Violence Working Group, Reverend Tracy Lauersen said the Conference was a crucial next step in driving the necessary change right across the country.

“Church representatives from across the country have come together to deeply examine the research, share resources, consult with government agencies and start to develop a truly national approach to their response to violence against women,” Reverend Lauersen said.

“The research we commissioned showed us that violence against women affects women in both broader society, and also women in our churches as well.”

“That’s why we came together over Zoom, despite the lockdowns in place across the country, because this work is too important to delay.

“There is an urgent need to understand what is working and where the gaps are and to start to put in place the right supports across all Anglican Church communities in Australia.

“That’s what we were able to further develop at this week’s Conference, which highlights the resolve of the Church to really take a leadership role on this issue and better support those in our faith communities.”

The research, released earlier this year, produced 28 top line findings, including that the prevalence of gendered IPV among Anglicans was the same or higher than in the wider Australian community.

Reverend Lauersen also said the Conference highlights the need for the Federal Government to include faith-based communities in the National Women’s Safety Summit.

“Churches are in significant positions of influence and need a seat at the table to help address family violence in all its forms,” she said.

“We want to work with the Federal Government on the development of the next National Plan to reduce family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, and on its implementation.”

For more information, please visit: https://anglican.org.au/our-work/family-violence/ 

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