Murder, forgiveness and the problem with cheap grace 

A young man is arrested, charged, pleads guilty and convicted of killing his wife. Faith leaders at the funeral of this young woman strongly urge family members and the congregation to ‘forgive’ the perpetrator. But should we forgive the perpetrator unconditionally? Should the act be forgiven and forgotten? For the victims family, is it their duty to forgive as … More Murder, forgiveness and the problem with cheap grace 

Anglicans step up domestic violence training for clergy

By Em Timmins Just five short years ago, it was incredibly rare to see anything in the news about domestic violence. It’s a relief to hear also gender inequality acknowledged at the highest levels within faith organisations, such as the Anglican Church, as a cause and a consequence of violence against women. I asked Dr … More Anglicans step up domestic violence training for clergy

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