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Churches to mark White Ribbon day

Churches are being urged to support White Ribbon day this Sunday, November 25, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, by praying and putting up awareness posters, a lifeline for abused women, in ladies toilets.

Mandy Marshall, the CofE representative at next year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, says churches are well-placed to offer support and be an information hub.

"UN statistics show that, globally, women between the ages of 15-44 are more likely to be maimed or die as a result of male violence than through cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war com­bined.

"Churches play host to community activities all week as well as on Sunday and can offer support on this issue by awareness raising campaigns as it is all too easy to think it only happens to others. Prayer is vital but we have found that posters put up in ladies toilets with contact information can be a lifeline for women who feel they have nowhere to turn to."

The worldwide Anglican Consultative Council, which met this month and was attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders, has also called for an end to gender based violence saying it "it is time for action" and called for support for initiatives at grassroots level.

Dr Charles Reed, the Archbishops' Council International and Development Affairs Secretary, said: "The issue of gender violence can often be overlooked but Home Office statistics show that, in the UK alone, 25% of women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime. The excellent resources from Restored can be used this Sunday as a focus but are also relevant all year round."

Church resources can be found via the White Ribbon website* or at www.restoredrelationships.org

The date November 25 marks the assassination, in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic.

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Notes to Editors
*White Ribbon Day http://www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/
http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/