October 14


Because of the society in which we live,  we have become numbed to violence toward women. We seem to accept it in movies, on TV, in the control attempted in the political arena and when opinions diverge. Without stopping to reflect on what such violence does throughout the world and to our own human spirit, we are able to move on. Rather than being appalled or outraged, we sometimes accept it as part of the “way things” are. Let us reflect this morning on all the ways violence toward women and girls assaults our senses daily and how we respond to it.


Spirit of God, we long to discover anew the courage deep within us, to discover our true selves and to take steps to stop the cycle of violence in our homes, in our work-places, in our neighborhoods in our country, in our wide world.


I will examine my own attitudes on violence toward women and girls. Have I become numbed and lost my sense of outrage at what is done to the human spirit for profit or power?

Suggested Reading

He straightened up and said to her, “Where are they? Is there no one left to condemn you?” “No one, sir,” she answered. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either.
John 53:10

We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstance, by any political leader or by any government.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Nowhere in the world is a woman safe from violence. The strengthening of global commitment to counteract this plague is a movement whose time has come.
Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

Many of those who perpetrate violence feel justified by strong societal messages that say that rape, battering, sexual harassment, child abuse, and other forms of violence are acceptable. Every day we see images of male violence against women in the news, on TV shows, in the movies, in advertising, and in our homes and workplaces. It is a fact of life for women of all ages, races, and classes.

One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.
Nicole Kidman

Sexual violence, intimidation and control—including clothing codes, public sexual humiliation and trafficking—are part of the patriarchal structures and systems that have oppressed women for most of history.
Global Fund for Women

In movies, television shows, cartoons, music videos, and even comic books — it is clear that women are presented as half-human and objectified. If a woman is looked upon as an object, without feelings, life, soul, or thoughts, then it is easy to ingest images of her that defy her humanity.
Marina DelVecchio

We are unalterably opposed to the presentation of the female body being stripped, bound, raped, tortured, mutilated, and murdered in the name of commercial entertainment and free speech.
Susan Brownmiller

For most of recorded history, parental violence against children and men’s violence against wives was explicitly or implicitly condoned. Those who had the power to prevent and/or punish this violence through religion, law, or custom, openly or tacitly approved it. …..The reason violence against women and children is finally out in the open is that activists have brought it to global attention.
Riane Eisler

When women are consistently shown as sex objects rather than agents, consistently depicted in demeaning and degrading ways, and consistently shown as submissive, the result is to condone and support violence against women, and anti-woman attitudes.
Dr. Karen Dill-Shackleford