16 Days of Activism - Day 13
Written by Amy Johnson, Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice, United Church of Christ
In a workshop of over 100 people at the National Sex Ed Conference in the United States, we asked those who had never been sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped to please stand up. Only three people in that room stood.
Rape crosses all geographic, economic, racial, religious, ability, and socio-economic barriers. It is an epidemic—one that begs the question, if this were a different contagious disease, what types of resources might our faith communities make available to fight it?
Providing comprehensive education about bodily autonomy, consent, and healthy relationships is one way to work for justice as people of faith. Speaking out against gender-based violence and for our faith communities to offer such education are actions that help to dismantle the shame and stigma associated with rape.
Meanwhile, each of us holds power to shift our language around rape from victim-blaming to survivor-empowering. Each of us holds the power to choose to act in ways that respect women. Each of us has a voice to use for justice. Let us join our voices and actions together to stand against rape.
Justice-seeking God, we are created in your image. Help us turn our outrage at gender-based violence into fuel to work for justice and equity for all genders in your world. Give us the courage to use the power we have to create your kin-dom of love, respect and dignity in every community.