Major Adventist leaders recently wrote a commentary for the Adventist News Network calling attention to the upcoming 10th annual Abuse Prevention Sabbath. It will be on August 27 around the world. They write:
Observing the world church's Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day is one tangible way you and your congregation can help raise awareness in your community. A presentation during worship service can help create a safe, open church environment that welcomes discussion of tough issues. Find resources here.
The leaders who signed the column include, Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, director of the Adventist Church's Education department, Gilbert Cangy, director of Youth Ministries, Allan Handysides, director of Health Ministries, Linda Koh, director of Children's Ministries, Elaine and Willie Oliver, directors of Family Ministries, Jerry Page, secretary of the Ministerial Association, and Heather-Dawn Small, director of Women's Ministries.
They add that "This year, Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day falls on Saturday, August 27. In previous years, we've addressed domestic violence, incest, abuse of power and abuse of the elderly. This year, in partnership with enditnow, we are focusing on violence against women."
This year, we ask that you go a step beyond talking by directly benefiting women affected by violence in your community. After worship service, find a shelter to visit, and offer the women there your support, a prayer or a hug. As a community of faith, we must not only talk, but act.
We're seeing Adventists impact their communities in places such as the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, where an Adventist church sponsored a one-day spa for abused women. Childcare was provided so women could get their hair done and receive massages. In the North American Division, a church social worker with limited resources recently opened a shelter that now treats dozens of women emerging from substance abuse and domestic violence. Another Adventist church has committed to distributing comfort packages to rape victims in the community. And the South American Division regularly produces a magazine about abuse awareness and education, which is then distributed to communities.
By partnering with enditnow until 2015, Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day harnesses a global awareness and advocacy campaign with an active base. Supporting an end to violence against women is something every church member can rally around, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or education level.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3353