Behind Closed Doors Exhibition
Sixteen stories of domestic abuse victims’ experiences are being curated in an exhibition for Mothers’ Union campaign. The Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Llandaff has partnered with Restored and Live Fear Free to create awareness and a call to action against gender-based violence in churches around Wales.
The ‘Behind Closed Doors’ exhibition covers examples of different types of abuse including physical, psychological, financial, technological, and spiritual. Both female and male experiences from varying communities are represented in the voices of the survivors.
Each story is represented by a miniature door by which people can read or listen via a QR code to the account in English or Welsh. Each story is followed by a short reflection and prayer.
The doors are accompanied by Perspex silhouettes which sit in pews and chairs to encourage people to think about the possibility that’s there are survivors who are still at risk, in need or are vulnerable in their community.
A pop-up banner illustrating a large yellow door with the Live Fear Free contact details – telephone, email etc. will accompany the exhibition so that if the project triggers awareness of abuse and individuals need to seek help, they can do so.
The exhibition will travel around churches, Mothers’ Union branches and community buildings in Wales to spread awareness of the different types of abuse experienced in this country behind closed doors.
Churches can sign up to host the exhibition in 2023 and 2024 by emailing Llandaff Mothers' Union President, Sue Rivers, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diocese of Llandaff is proud to be supporting the Mothers Union in the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from 25th November to 10th December.
Call to Action
We are asking churches to not only spread awareness but also respond to this call to action:
Please print out this Live Fear Free Helpline poster and cut along the dotted lines to then be put up in a discreet place such as on the inside of bathroom stall doors.
The Live Fear Free Helpline runs 24 HOURS a day, 7 DAYS a week, and is available for free advice and support or to talk through options. People can discreetly take a number, allowing them to avoid using the internet if they wish, which may be monitored.
To spread awareness and show you support, you may like to print off these posters and be photographed with them outside your church for social media. Please be sure to tag:
- Diocese of Llandaff and Mothers Union Llandaff (Facebook)
- @LlandaffDio and @MothersUnion (Twitter)
- @diocesellandaff and @officialmothersunion (Instagram)
And use the hashtags #16days and #16daysofactivism
Be a safe place in your area
The financial stress of the cost of living crisis is likely to give perpetrators of domestic abuse more opportunities to exert control over their partners. 16% of adults in the UK have experienced economic abuse in an intimate relationship, and it's estimated that £14.4 billion of debt in the UK is tied directly to economic abuse. The lack of access to money and high levels of debt will create huge barriers for survivors trying to live independently, potentially trapping them with their abuser. Mothers in particular face losing their children, as fathers tend to have more money and better resources to fight for custody.
The diocese is committed to having a least one church in each Ministry Area registered as a Restored Beacon. Restored Beacons are a network of churches around the country, standing together against gender-based violence and domestic abuse and providing a place of safety for survivors. They seek to create safer churches for those subjected to abuse and challenge these cultural and societal norms that justify or ignore violence against women.
More information on Restored Beacons can be found on the Restored website at www.restored-uk.org. If you’re interested in your church or Ministry Area getting involved as a Restored Beacon, please email me at email@example.com.
Liturgy for raising awareness of Domestic Violence
Rev'd Caroline Downs, Parish of Cathays, has prepared this liturgy for clergy and readers to use.
Social media campaign materials
We've designed a Facebook profile frame that you can use on your personal Facebook or page (e.g. church, group etc) to spread the word about the Live Fear Free Helpline, a 24/7 lifeline of support for those experiencing domestic abuse. It was established during the COVID-19 pandemic by Welsh Women's Aid and the Welsh Government to try and combat the awful rise in domestic abuse during lockdown. Below as an example of the frame being used, click here to try it.
You can also use this image as a header on your social media accounts:
Resources for Clergy
Resources for us all
A Prayer for White Ribbon Day
God of all people, on this White Ribbon Day we recognise the heartbreaking fact of violence against women and girls.
We pray for all who are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse.
We remember those who have lost their lives through violence and abuse and those who feel powerless or afraid to seek help
We remember in our prayers those who have survived and those trapped in violent and abusive situations today.
We pray Lord that cries of anguish may be transformed into possibilities of new and lasting hope.
This prayer we offer through Jesus Christ our Lord.