Related to this section ...

Church leaders support campaign to stop violence against women

Church leaders of all the main denominations in Cumbria are supporting a campaign to end violence against women.

White Ribbon Day (Monday 25 November) is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It marks the start of 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

At a recent joint meeting all the leaders signed up to the White Ribbon Pledge. It reads: “I pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women in all its forms.”

Most signed the pledge through the First Man Standing website run by Restored, an international Christian alliance working with churches to help them respond appropriately to domestic violence.

The Rt Rev Robert Freeman, Bishop of Penrith, said: "I am really pleased to support the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. 58 other bishops across the Church of England will also be wearing a white ribbon to show their concern for what is a disturbing but often unspoken issue in society.

“All domestic violence is wrong. However, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of domestic violence is by men against women, and is often behind closed doors within our families.

“Men need to increasingly be clear that they stand against all gender-based violence, and we all need to empower and support women and all survivors of abuse and violence, by becoming visible in standing against gender-based violence in all its forms.

“God loves everyone, and God's love is shown through loving and flourishing relationships where each person is valued and respected."

The White Ribbon Pledge has been signed by the following Cumbria Church leaders:
Bill Bewley, representative of Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rev Andrew Dodd, Network Minister for Cumbria, North West Baptist Association
Rt Rev Michael Campbell, Bishop of Lancaster, Roman Catholic Church
Rev Richard Church, NW Synod Moderator, United Reformed Church
Rt Rev Robert Freeman, Bishop of Penrith, Church of England
Major Drew McCombe, Divisional Leader, Salvation Army NW Division
Rev Sarah Moore, Cumbria Area President, United Reformed Church
Rt Rev James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, Church of England
Rev Richard Teal, Chair, Cumbria Methodist District

It follows their long support for a county partnership project also highlighting the prevalence and impact of domestic abuse. The scheme, run between Churches Together in Cumbria, Letgo and Safer Cumbria, provides training for clergy and pastoral carers.

Notes for editors

1. The White Ribbon Campaign is an international movement of men working to end men’s violence against women and girls. It focuses on primary prevention by engaging with men and boys to raise their awareness of how big a problem this is for society and the issues related to it, such as the objectification of women and the various forms domestic abuse takes.

2. First Man Standing aims to help men to model good relationships, respect all women, challenge other men’s behaviour and sign up to the White Ribbon Pledge. It is a campaign of Restored which is a Christian organisation working to transform relationships and end violence against women.

3. The definition of domestic violence is:
‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.’

4. Churches Together in Cumbria is the umbrella organisation for all the main Christian denominations in the county. For the last 7 years it has run a training programme on domestic violence for clergy and pastoral carers in partnership with third and public sector bodies.

5. Letgo is the countywide specialist domestic violence service in Cumbria.

6. Safer Cumbria is a partnership approach to tackling domestic and sexual violence/ abuse led by Cumbria County Council.

For further information and requests for interviews with Church Leaders contact:

For Church of England: Dave Roberts: 07984 927434 or Ven Richard Pratt: 07788 728508

For all other denominations: Helen Boothroyd: 07503 931196

  • Diocesan Director of Education announces retirement Posted Tuesday 10 September ...