Violence Against Women
1993 General Resolution
BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and living with dignity includes freedom from physical and emotional violence and the fear of such violence in the home, workplace, church, and community; and
WHEREAS the number of reported cases of harassment and stalking of women is increasing;
WHEREAS the rates of violent crime including sexual assault, rape, battering, and murder are rising and battering is the largest cause of injury to women in the United States and Canada;
WHEREAS violence against women occurs in families of all classes and races and is frequently perpetuated across generations;
WHEREAS violence against women is frequently trivialized, unreported, hidden within the family, or blamed on the victim;
WHEREAS our patriarchal system creates and sustains such violence by viewing and treating women as if they are of little value; and
WHEREAS the Unitarian Universalist sexism audits, "Checking Our Balance" and "Cleansing Our Temple," reveal our own continuing need to recognize patriarchal thinking and practices within us as individuals, among us in our congregations, and around us in society;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and urge its associate members, affiliate organizations, member congregations, and individual Unitarian Universalists to:
- break the silence by naming and speaking of the violence women experience in their homes, schools, work places, churches, and communities;
- examine the nature and consequences of harassment and the ways in which our social, commercial, and religious institutions sanction harassment of women;
- develop and implement educational programs for children and adults to empower individuals and groups to work at eliminating violence against women;
- develop and implement programs to examine the roles that religious myths and institutions play in fostering violence or in healing its effects;
- promote legislation to stop violence against women;
- promote legislation to require that physicians report suspected cases of abuse;
- advocate for the introduction of school curricula that promotes gender equality and respect, and teaches non-violent means of conflict resolution;
- support the development and implementation of training programs for law enforcers, health-care providers, business and legal professionals, educators, child-care workers, and clergy, to increase awareness of the causes and symptoms of violence against women and effective methods of intervention;
- promote the creation of safe houses, shelters, counseling centers, and support groups for victims and their dependents; and
- promote personal accountability through intervention and treatment programs, including individual and small group counseling for abusers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association shall act and urge its associate members, affiliate organizations, member congregations, and individual Unitarian Universalists to support the continental network, Unitarian Universalists Acting to Stop Violence Against Women, in its work, which includes congregation-based programs of worship, ritual, religious education, caring communities, and social action;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 1993 General Assembly requests the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association to report annually on progress in implementing this resolution; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Unitarian Universalist congregations and individual Unitarian Univer-salists be urged to recognize the pervasive nature of violence against women and to confront the emotional and physical violence in our own families, congregations, and communities.
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