Online Program

What is your church doing to create a safety network for the victims of gender based violence sitting in your church pews?

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Pamela Mukaire, DrPH, MPH, MEd, Resources for Improving Birth and Health Outcomes, Vienna, VA
Agatha Babirye, BA, Resources for Improving Birth Outcomes, Jinja, Uganda
Introduction: Formative congregational research suggests that faith-based cultures and responses to gender-based violence (GBV) often legitimize violence, keep women in positions of continued physical, emotional and spiritual trauma, and in so doing perpetuate a cycle of violence. When your mother, daughter, sister, friend, leader calls out to you for help, do you have the obligation to meet their courage with a life giving response? Are you and your church equipped to address gender-based violence against women?

Methods: This pilot study was designed to 1) describe GBV experiences, 2) examine congregational conceptualizations of and responses to violence, 3) and congregational capacity for addressing violence against women. Five key informant interviews were conducted and a 10 page questionnaire was administered to 50 church members from congregations in Kampala, Uganda.

Results: Women of faith are calling their faith communities to raise awareness and address the issue of GBV. Study participants acknowledge that the faith community is well positioned to identify, validate, and promote culturally tailored evidence-based behavioral and biomedical approaches to preventing GBV and yet have not tapped into these resources. They acknowledge that this subject is so important and the fact that their church has not yet examined it provides wide open doors for self-examination, honest dialogue, discussion, learning, training and mobilizing resources to effectively minister to both the victims and perpetrators.

Conclusion: The participants in this study believe that faith-based leaders can expand their community capacity to bring about long-term change and build healthy relationships, and strong families.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain faith-based beliefs/influences and responses to gender-based violence Discuss the role for churches in increasing the safety and well-being of women in unsafe relationship situations Describe available tools for assessing individual capacity for successfully helping victims and perpetrators GBV

Keyword(s): Faith Community, Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have the primary responsibility for collecting and analyzing the data shared in this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.