By Joanna Delalande
White Ribbon Day and the key to redemption and healing
Shocking statistics show that around one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence and at least 2.2 million Australian women have suffered instances of family violence.
International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, also known as White Ribbon Day, encourages men to step up and take action to prevent this violence.
The question remains, however: Why are some men committing such terrible acts of violence in the first place?
The Bible tells us in Genesis that God first created man – Adam. Then He said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." And so He created woman – Eve.
Due to physical differences between genders, some believe women are inferior to men and thus men have power, control and the right to be violent towards women.
But in reality God created man and woman to work side by side. Though He gave them each different roles, it does not mean He intended for women to be inferior. Jesus himself defended women and challenged the culture of the day that perpetuated this view.
In fact, the Bible is very clear on where God stands in regards to domestic violence. In Colossians chapter 3, verse 19, He says: "Husbands, love your wives [sacrificially], and do not be harsh with them", an instruction that is expanded on in Ephesians chapter 3.
The sad truth remains that some men take no regard of this, inflicting only pain and sorrow on women. In the midst of all this violence it is only by turning to God that we can find hope.
For those men who have taken part in domestic violence, God offers hope in the form of redemption. This means if they decide to turn away from their old way of living God will forgive them and all their acts of violence will be forgotten in His eyes, because He loves them and wants to see them renewed. God also has the power to deliver them from their violent ways, and to make them a whole and new person in Him.
God can touch the hearts of men so they will respect and even protect women the way He had first intended it.
And for those women who are victims of violence by men, hope is found in the promise of God. Psalm chapter 9 verse 9 tells us: "The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." By relying on Him, women who suffer fear and violence in their own homes can find healing and peace.
Hope is also found in the people, men and women alike, who on November 25 will stand together, side by side the way God intended, to combat these unspeakable horrors happening around us. God says: "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them." (Matthew chapter 18 verse 20) So where hundreds are gathered to put an end to violence against women, God will surely be.