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16 Days of Activism - Day 4

16 Days, 16 Reasons to Give Thanks

Written by Lynnaia Main, Episcopal Church representative to the United Nations

In this season of gratitude, how can we give thanks during the 16 Days? The facts hardly make it possible. Violence against women and girls is serious, pervasive, a worldwide epidemic. This is no cause for celebration; we have an eternity to go. Yet, is possible to give thanks to God:

- For courageous survivors who share their story – at great personal cost – so that others may escape the trauma they have known.

- For friends, family and neighbors who urge women in cycles of intimate partner violence to leave the cycle of abuse and offer moral and practical support to see them through.

- For parents who teach their children to honor women and girls and treat them with gentleness and respect.

- For witnesses who refuse to be bystanders and choose to be upstanders.

- For social workers, counselors, therapists and clergy who offer safe places to share and hope of healing.

- For an uptick in domestic violence training for law enforcement.

- For social media movements that raise public awareness:

- For hotlines, shelters and safe houses.For increasing awareness and local efforts to combat human trafficking.

- For advocates, lawyers and judges who close legal loopholes and end the culture of impunity for perpetrators.

- For men and boys who refuse to go along with the guys in denigrating and discriminating against women and girls.

- For international legal frameworks like the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

- For a decrease in the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting.

- For clergy who preach about gender equality and justice and expose the evils of gender-based discrimination and violence.

- For you, and all the ways you act to end gender-based violence.

- For the hope of Jesus, who taught us by example to love and honor women and girls.

For what do you give thanks? What reasons for hope encourage you to keep fighting this fight?

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