Draft on Social Message on Gender-Based Violence

Draft of a Social Message on Gender-based Violence is available for public comment and response. Please use either the online feedback form or the printable feedback form. The comment period runs through November 26th, and you are invited to participate by sending your feedback by email.

Click here to learn more from an FAQ about the project. |en español

The ELCA’s Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ requested this message after a year of listening events at which intense concerns were voiced about the growing level of gender-based violence in U.S. society. "Gender-based violence" includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual abuse, physical and sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and sexual harassment. It can be perpetuated by anyone. (For information about the full span of work being done by the task force, visit the Women and Justice page.)

Staff of the Theological Discernment Team in the Office of the Presiding Bishop is responsible for the project. The message will be developed in light of existing ELCA social teaching documents such as the statements on race, ethnicity and culture and sexuality; the message on commercial sexual exploitation; and the policy resolution on domestic violence. These resources can be found on the Theological Discernment resource page.

Read an excerpt of the draft below:

"The ELCA’s response in the face of gender-based violence is first and foremost to be prophetic, to declare that faith in the God who creates, redeems and sustains means saying no to such violence. As the ELCA affirms, “We care for the earth and serve the neighbor in society with the joyful confidence that God’s faithfulness alone sustains the Church and renews our faith, hope, and love.” God calls this church to recognize the needs of victims, survivors, bystanders and perpetrators and to work within its power to address what causes and enables gender-based violence. God calls the church to respond with care, accountability and education as well as to give attention to the social order through advocacy. Addressing gender-based violence is gospel-centered work; it is ministry." p.18