All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
The abusive partner continually denies any responsibility for problems.
Beverly Engel, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing
Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NRSV)
Do not be quick to anger,
for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
All women and girls have the fundamental right to live free of violence. This right is enshrined in international human rights and humanitarian law.
An abuser isn’t abusive 24/7. They usually demonstrate positive character traits most of the time. That’s what makes the abuse so confusing when it happens, and what makes leaving so much more difficult.
As a society, we need to ensure that if a victim of abuse reaches out for help, we are there to lend a hand.
As society normalises we cannot sit on the fence, we have to choose sides – are you with the powerful or are you with the lowly?
Rev Phumzile Mabizela, INERELA+
Bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS.
A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is never less. Equality is a given. A woman is human.
But no matter how much evil I see, I think it’s important for everyone to understand that there is much more light than darkness.
Robert Uttaro, To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence
Calling gender violence a women’s issue is part of the problem. It gives a lot of men an excuse not to pay attention.
The change I want to see is a start-up environment where everyone, regardless of gender and background, feels welcome and safe; where sexual harassment or discrimination will not impede great talent from producing great impact.
The danger of tolerating any hurtful behaviour is that it can all too quickly become the norm.
Linda G. Mills (Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse)
Dignity does not come from avenging insults, especially from violence that can never be justified. It comes from taking responsibility and advancing our common humanity.
Domestic violence is any behaviour involving physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse. It is any form of aggression intended to hurt, damage, or kill an intimate person.
Asa Don Brown
Domestic violence is not just perpetrated by a husband or a partner. Families too are a party to it. To my mind, violation of basic human rights by anybody around us – a parent, a sibling or a relative – is domestic violence.
Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others.
Don’t stand back with your arms folded; step forward… There is hope and light to resist injustice and promote peace without violence.
Adolfo Perez Esquivel
Psalm 37:8 (NRSV)
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone’s responsibility.
The lifting up of the woman does not require the tearing down of the man.
The discrimination that women bump into does not come from the heart of God. He created them in His own image — with a capacity to know Him in a personal relationship.
Anne Graham Lotz
The enemy of feminism isn’t men. It’s patriarchy, and patriarchy is not men. It is a system, and women can support the system of patriarchy just as men can support the fight for gender equality.”
For too long the term domestic violence has been used as a “soft” term which suggests it emerges in an intimate context that is private and somehow less threatening, less brutal, than the violence that takes place outside the home. This is not so, since more women are beaten and murdered in the home than on the outside.
bell hooks (Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.
I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.
I have sometimes heard adults telling girls that they should be flattered by boys’ invasive or aggressive behaviour “because it means they really like you,” an approach that prepares both boys and girls to confuse love with abuse and socializes girls to feel helpless.
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
I will never understand why it is more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist.
If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere.
Aysha Taryam, the first Middle Eastern female Editor-in-Chief of an English language newspaper – The Gulf Today
If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.
If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.
In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.
Judith Lewis Herman
It doesn’t take a bruise or a broken bone for a child to be a victim of domestic violence. Kids who witness domestic violence are victims, too.
It is seldom that domestic violence is an isolated episode; rather it is comprised of a number of episodes over an extended period of time.
Asa Don Brown
It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper.
1 Corinthians 11:12 NRSV
For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God.
It’s not consent if you make me afraid to say no.
It’s the place where dreams end and nightmares begin—it’s the world of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
Mallika Nawal, Professor and author
The lack of culpability of the perpetrator and his or her transference of blame onto alcohol or other substances only perpetuates the violent behaviours.
Asa Don Brown
Men who hit do so because they can…someplace they enjoy or need to humiliate another. There is no love in violence, only control and domination.
Na’ama Yehuda, Emilia
Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us.
James 1:19 (NRSV)
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;
#MeToo shows this bias is systemic, that people get away with violence against women, get away with discrimination – whether in work or society in general – because, for too long, silence has been the answer.
Never let a man put his hands on you without your permission.
Melda Beaty, Lime
Nonviolence is the only credible response to the violence we’re seeing around the world.
Coretta Scott King
Perhaps you expected to feel great as soon as you escaped your abuser, and maybe you did feel a great sense of relief for a while. However, as time has passed, you may be dismayed by the extent of your emotional pain.
Caroline Abbott, A Journey to Healing After Emotional Abuse
Proverbs 15:1 (NRSV)
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Perpetrators of abuse often make their victims believe that they are somehow responsible for their own abuse. Such misplaced notions shift the blame of the abuse from the abuser to the abusee.
Mallika Nawal, Professor and author
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.
Sexual assault and domestic violence are difficult things to talk about. Talk about them anyway.
Silence hides Violence
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’
Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.
Pope John Paul IIGenesis 1:27 NRSV
God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them
male and female he created them.
Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and remuneration based on ability.
Sandra Day O’Connor
Sure relationships include arguments, but pain is not a side-effect of love.
Tyler Oakley, Binge
Sympathy is only meted out if you follow all of society’s rules for how a victim is supposed to behave.
Nenia Campbell, Cease and Desist
There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death. Whether it’s the mundane violence we do to our bodies by overeating toxic food or drink or the extreme violence of child abuse, domestic warfare, life-threatening poverty, addiction, or state terrorism.
This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world’s most poisonous curse.
Galatians 3:28 NRSV
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
Threatening a current or former partner isn’t passion, or love, or heartache. It’s violence, it’s abuse and it’s a crime.
Unless men are active allies, we’ll never end violence against women and girls.
Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.
Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender.
Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me
Violence is like a weed – it does not die even in the greatest drought.
Violence is violence and can in no way be misconstrued as discipline under any circumstance cultural or otherwise. Aysha Taryam
Proverbs 29:11 (NRSV)
A fool gives full vent to anger,
but the wise quietly holds it back.
We cannot afford to regard as normal the presence of injustice, inhumanity, and violence, including their verbal and cyber manifestations.
Bernice KingWe have an abundance of rape and violence against women in this country and on this Earth, though it’s almost never treated as a civil rights or human rights issue, or a crisis, or even a pattern.
Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me
We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence – the shame is on the aggressor.
Women and girls, men and boys all share the right to live free of violence, which is, unfortunately, experienced by both men and women. Women and girls, however, disproportionately experience violence due to a deeply rooted global culture of gender discrimination.
You have a right against any forms of domestic violence.
Protect your life.
Protect your family and loved ones.
Mutual respect and love are main keys to avoid violence.
Angelica Hopes, Life Issues
You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage.
Acts 2:17 (NRSV)
In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…