Report “Silent No More” Released on the Potential of the Church to Prevent Sexual Violence
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:10 AM

Tearfund has released a report called “Silent No More” that addresses the untapped power of the church to stop sexual violence. This report is in response to Tearfund’s research findings on the role of the church in cases of sexual violence in countries affected by armed conflict; specifically Liberia, the DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi. An executive summary of the initial research can be found here.

The report finds that though sexual violence is a pervasive problem throughout much of the world, its extent and lasting impact are mostly unknown. Many churches contribute to this damaging impact of sexual violence through their silence and reinforcement of the stigma and discrimination of sexual violence victims.

The report calls upon churches worldwide to take advantage of their huge potential to stop sexual violence. As key parts of community life, churches are often looked to as places of refuge by survivors of sexual violence. By remaining silent, churches have failed to fulfill their mandate to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Based on the findings, the report makes recommendations for church action. This includes taking the lead on challenging the pervasiveness of sexual violence within communities. Another is a path forward for the church to be an effective resource of compassion and caring for sexual violence victims. The report also recommends ways for the church to fix issues of stigma and discrimination.

Compiled from: Silent No More (21 March 2011), Tearfund, WURN.