Resolution Opposing Violence and Abuse of Women and Girls

Resolution Opposing Violence and Abuse of Women and Girls

BWA General Council Resolution 2018.2

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, July 2-6:

AFFIRMS that women and girls are created in the image of God and invested with inestimable worth and dignity as gifts from God, and are essential to the health and vitality of families, churches, communities, and national life;

ACKNOWLEDGES that the church has at times stood silent or has been guilty of perpetuating biblical and theological interpretations regarding women and girls that render them vulnerable to violence and abuse in the home, the church, and society; and hinder their ability to live into the fulness of God;

NOTES that harassment and violence against women and girls worldwide are immoral and antithetical to the freedom of all people as expressed in the Gospel, and that the church has too often been guilty of abusing and demeaning women and girls and of covering up instances of abuse;

RECOGNIZES that the #MeToo movement has been catalytic in calling attention to the harassment and violence toward women and girls;

CALLS the BWA member bodies to:

  • Enhance the appreciation of the worth and dignity of women and girls in all aspects of family, church life, and in society;
  • Develop programs, policies, and practices that safeguard and empower women and girls;
  • Provide access to counseling and safe places for women and girls who are victims of abuse;
  • Ensure a system of transparent accountability that includes reporting of suspected abuse to appropriate authorities both inside and outside the church;

• Design and implement culturally contextualized curricula to educate ministerial leadership and congregations about the multi-faceted problem of violence on women and girls and processes to prevent such violence.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Brown, Elijah M., editor. Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Elijah M. Brown, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018), p. 150.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2018.2 Resolution Opposing Violence and Abuse of Women and Girls; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2018.2).

Resolution Opposing Violence and Abuse of Women and Girls

Child Sexual Abuse in the Church

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.14

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:

AFFIRMS the intrinsic and inestimable value of children and young people as gifts from God and as the promise of future generations;

ACKNOWLEDGES the vital importance of children for the health and viability of families, communities and national life;

RECOGNIZES the responsibility given to parents and guardians to provide for the nurture and care of children, and the roles and responsibilities played by others;

GIVES THANKS FOR the biblical teaching on the nurture and care of children, the spiritual and social development of children through the ministry of the local church, and the contributions that children make to the life and mission of the church;

EXPRESSES PROFOUND SORROW at the ways in which children have been betrayed, harmed and sexually or otherwise abused, both historically and in the present day, through acts of omission and commission;

AFFIRMS that no child or young person should ever be abused, betrayed or harmed in any way while in the care of a church or church agency;

REPENTS of any failure by Baptists anywhere to implement consistently effective policies and processes to protect children from abuse, to protect and care for those who have been abused and to remain silent on any of these issues in the past;

COMMENDS urgent action to implement measures to protect children from abuse, support their physical and emotional welfare, and respond to allegations of abuse, including the following:

  • Administrative processes to ensure the suitability of persons working with children in the context of Baptist churches (such as official checks against registers of criminal convictions, and proper disciplinary procedures in organizations where there has been substantiated abuse of children or where an organization has disciplined or ceased the employment of a person on the grounds of alleged or proven child abuse);
  • Administrative processes to address situations where a child discloses child abuse or where statements are made indicating that a child has been abused;
  • Restorative justice processes to address historic allegations or disclosures of child abuse;
  • Disciplinary processes to determine whether a person is fit to remain in employment, either paid or voluntary, in a situation where the complainant has not contacted police, the police have not pressed charges, the police do not consider there is enough evidence, or the prosecuting authority has dropped the case. URGES all Baptist churches, conventions and unions to take seriously every case of alleged child sexual abuse and to ensure that proper rules and processes are in place to protect children from harm and to promptly respond to allegations.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), pp. 148- 149.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.14 Child Sexual Abuse in the Church; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.14).

Resolution Opposing Violence and Abuse of Women and Girls

Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.13

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:

BELIEVES that everyone is created in the image of God and so possesses inalienable dignity and value, and that Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for both women and men, commands us to love one another, as he has loved us (John 13:43);

CONTINUES to affirm with the United Nations the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Unless women are able to maximize the opportunities available, build their capabilities and achieve their full potential, the participation of more than half the population is limited and societies suffer;

RESOLVES to:

  • pursue initiatives leading to the achievement of gender equality in societies worldwide;
  • contribute to the empowerment of women and the protection of their human rights in all spheres of human endeavor;
  • advocate that gender-based violence is a major hindrance to women’s empowerment and gender equality;
  • women and represents an abuse of power used to establish male dominance and female submission and so perpetuate gender inequality;
  • reject all acts of gender-based violence as being contrary to the laws of God and Christian doctrine:
  • support legislation, policies, and action designed to eliminate gender-based violence, and take the lead role wherever this is appropriate;
  • encourage churches, governments and NGOs to challenge attitudes and behaviors that devalue people through violence and exploitation, and
  • urges churches, governments and NGOs to provide resources:
    • to support the survivors of gender-based violence in sensitive and effective ways;
    • and to promote interventions to change behavior among perpetrators of gender-based violence.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), pp. 147- 148.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.13 Gender Equality and Gender- Based Violence; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.13).