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Social Justice Statement 2022-23

Three images of women at a protest are pieced together, each with a green, purple or grey overlay. The text "Social Justice Statement 2022-23, Respecti, Confronting Violence and abuse" is in white at the top of the image. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is written in small white writing at the centre of the image at the bottom with the corresponding logo.
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Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse

Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse points out that the roots of violence “lie in the abuse of power to control and dominate others” and that “this stands in contrast to the relationships to which God calls us”.

Our relationships should be “marked by equality and reciprocity rather than domination and violence, respect and freedom rather than coercion and control”.

We know that most often those who suffer violence and abuse in homes and families, in workplaces, and in communities, are women and children while the perpetrators are most often men. We support women in calling for respect in relationships; their lives and those of their children are sacred.

Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse focuses in a special way on the problem of spiritual violence and abuse. It discusses how religious teachings – including our own – may be manipulated by perpetrators to excuse violence or to exert control over others. This behaviour is sinful.

We believe that respect, dignity and justice, transformation and hope are possible.

The Statement affirms the work being done by faith communities and organisations to support those who experience violence and abuse, and to address the drivers and enablers of violence. It points to further ways in which we can all respond to spiritual violence.

Finally, it calls for faith communities to support and believe those going through violence and abuse, to hold perpetrators to account and work towards individual and social transformation.

Resources such as the liturgy notes and some promotional material will become available over the next few weeks. All resources will be available in the first week of August after the statement is launched.

The Statement will be launched online in the first week of August.  It will be available in electronic form only and a file suitable for commercial printing will be available for you to organise your own print run.  Unlike last year, where a pre-order system was in place, this year we are encouraging you to arrange your own printing based on local needs. A postcard sized prayer and action card that accompanies the Statement will be available electronically and in hard copy via the ACBC Online Shop.