Theme for Day for Life 2019 pastoral letter Day for Life October 6th theme: The Scourge of Domestic Abuse
The Scourge of Domestic Abuse – theme for the 2019 ‘Day for Life’ pastoral letter
‘Day for Life’ is celebrated each year across the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland, England & Wales. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the value of human life at every stage and in every condition. This Sunday, 6 October, we mark ‘Day for Life’ in parishes throughout Ireland. This year’s message addresses the Church’s response to the scourge of domestic abuse. One in four women and about one in six men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime. Such violence is an offence against the dignity of the human person. A report published last week by Women’s Aid, Unheard and Uncounted: Women, Domestic Abuse and the Irish Criminal Justice System, contains findings of a year-long media watch of domestic violence cases between May 2018 and April 2019. It found that the court process was prolonged and stressful and noted a lack of support for victims throughout criminal trials.
Pope Francis highlighted domestic abuse in his 2016 Papal Encyclical, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love, On Love in the Family):
“Unacceptable customs still need to be eliminated. I think particularly of the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected, domestic violence and various forms of enslavement which, rather than a show of masculine power, are craven acts of cowardice. The verbal, physical and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union” [n. 54].
These words are a call to action in our parishes, schools and Catholic communities so as to reflect, learn and act together to help those suffering from domestic abuse. Knowing what to look for, and spotting the signs, can make a real difference to people’s lives. To find out more about what can be done please seewww.dayforlife.org or www.catholicbishops.ie
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