Bishops call on community to reflect on violence against women

Focus on respect

Australian Catholic Bishops have called on the community to focus on the message of Jesus Christ and his relationship with women, ahead of the  International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Tuesday.

Referring to the Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus Report (1999) on the Participation of Women in the Catholic Church in Australia, the Bishops quote Pope St John Paul II who wrote: “Transcending the established norms of this own culture, Jesus treated women with openness, respect, acceptance, and tenderness.”

Violence against women has no place in our society, the Australian Catholic Bishops stressed. “Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.”

The United Nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines violence against women as any act of “gender-based violence” that results in “harm to women.”

According to the UN, globally up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) reports that in a 12-month period, between five and ten per cent of Australian women experienced at least one incident of abusive violence.

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ACBC statement on elimination of violence against women

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