Faith Communities urged to take advantage of Bystander Intervention Workshops 

Rev’d Ian Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Council of Churches and board member of the Faith Communities Council of Victoria Inc. says “there will come a time when you are faced with a situation in which you can intervene and help stop a potentially dangerous situation – stopping a drunk woman from  being led away by a sober stranger, eliminating … More Faith Communities urged to take advantage of Bystander Intervention Workshops 

Domestic and sexual violence not gender neutral – wake up!

When it comes to evidence about violence against women, it amazes me how people make a bad habit of rejecting the ‘gender’ part to fit their own beliefs. Although there is no single cause, evidence shows certain factors consistently predict higher levels of violence against women. Along with stereotypical gender roles, relations and identities, these factors include disrespect for women, … More Domestic and sexual violence not gender neutral – wake up!

Bystander intervention – a violence prevention model for faith communities

I have fallen prey to the bystander effect – and so have you. I have sat on a crowded bus – like everyone else – while an elderly woman walked on, waiting for others sitting on the bus to give up their seat. Someone has to, and someone else will, on a bus full of people. The … More Bystander intervention – a violence prevention model for faith communities

Evil flourishes when decent men do nothing

Whenever I raise conversation about male violence toward women and the lack of equality, I get comments usually from men, offended by the discussion of male perpetrated violence. These men take great lengths to remind me that they’re decent blokes and ‘it’s not fair and it’s not true.’ If I want their ongoing support, I had jolly well better … More Evil flourishes when decent men do nothing

Exchanging privilege for solidarity

Over the last few years, as I’ve talked to many women (and some men) reeling from the devastation of discrimination, harassment, sexual abuse and violence, a nagging question arises: why aren’t there more faith leaders, people of privilege, speaking out? Breaking the silence about violence is difficult.  Gender based violence can feel too intimate a topic … More Exchanging privilege for solidarity

Religion without social justice is hollow

One of the most striking features of my visits to faith communities is the repudiation of social justice. For example, a man angrily approached me two weeks ago saying loudly and in ear shot of others “Dr Boddé it is highly offensive and inappropriate that you highjack this service to talk about violence against women” For … More Religion without social justice is hollow

Exposing the lie of entitlement

Male entitlement is an attitude that conveys inherent male superiority, a  general disrespect for women and, a misguided belief that men are more competent and capable than women. Violence against women cannot exist without  a sense of male entitlement being present. Obvious manifestations of this attitude include such things as a man expecting that he will have the final say … More Exposing the lie of entitlement

Paying the Price For Marriage

Paper presented by Rev Duku Wolikare at the National Anti Dowry Summit , organised by the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (Dec 14 2016). Dowry payment, wherever practiced, is a system that establishes, enshrines and perpetuates harassment for dowry payment, gender inequality and dowry violence, especially against women, among South Sudanese communities. The practice of dowry … More Paying the Price For Marriage

Culture – no excuse for violence against women

I recently helped to plan a National Summit, organised by the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health, seeking to raise awareness about the impact of dowry related domestic violence on victims, their families and the wider community in Australia and to explore the legal recourse for victims. Dowry, a centuries-old custom which is practised across the … More Culture – no excuse for violence against women