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Nov 25 was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women or ‘White Ribbon’ day.
The following is information and prayers from our service today.

Anywhere from one-quarter to one-third, and even up to one-half, of Australian women will  experience physical or sexual violence by a man at some point in their lives. Women are most at risk of violence in the home and from men they know.
Significantly, surveys have found that women who have been sexually or physically abused as children are approximately twice as likely to experience partner violence later in life.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience higher rates of violence than other women.
Violence has a profound and damaging impact on its victims, on men’s and women’s relationships, on their children and on the community as a whole. When women are physically assaulted by male partners or ex-partners, or forced into sex, or constantly threatened and abused, this leaves deep physical, and psychological, scars.
A study by VicHealth in 2004 found that, among women under 45, intimate partner violence contributes more to their poor health, disability, and death than any other risk factor, including obesity and smoking.
If we want to focus on the economic cost, KPMG estimated in the 2009 Time for Action report that the cost of violence against women and their children to the Australian economy is estimated to be $13.6 billion in 2008-09 and, if there is no reduction in current rates, it will cost the economy an estimated $15.6 billion by 2021-22.5
While this campaign focuses on violence against women, it is important to acknowledge that men too are often the victims of violence. Many of the victims of murder, manslaughter, and serious physical assaults are male. This day focuses on the prevention of violence against women and takes for granted that all forms of violence are unacceptable.
Information sourced from http://www.whiteribbonday.org.au/Resources-49.aspx
Prayer
Great God we give you thanks that you call us out of silence to name hidden and domestic violence.
Today we pray for all those women who despite suffering from violence, continue to care for family and children, to grow and prepare food, carry water, earn a living and offer support to others.
We pray for women who are trafficked as domestic or sex workers; for women who are raped and do not know how to find words to name their pain or a way into the future.
We pray for transformation of our societies which often find it easier to judge the victims of violence than to solve the problems of injustice
We pray that women’s voices may be heard and taken into account in all peace and reconciliation work.
We pray for a transformation in the violent way many men act towards and think about women.
We pray for right and just relations between women and men that together we may transform and overcome violence in all its forms and learn to celebrate our diversity and interdependence
We look forward to the age of peace, when violence is banished, both women and
men are able to love and to be loved, and the work and wealth of our world is justly shared.
Prayer from a 2010 Lenten Study compiled by the World Council of Churches, the World Student Christian
Federation and the World YWCA http://women.overcomingviolence.org.
Benediction
May the God of Eve teach you to dance.
May the God of Tamar bring you the courage to act justly.
May the God of Rahab inspire faith that finds freedom for you and your family.
May the God of Ruth teach you loyalty in every season.
May the God of Bathsheba be our comfort in suffering and grace.
May the Christ who knew Mary and Martha show you the way of balance.
May the Christ who healed the bent-over woman heal your pain.
May the Christ of Mary Magdala send you out to proclaim your story.
In the name of Christ who is the memory, hope and authority of the future.
Adapted from a prayer created by Jane Stranz for the World Council of Churches
National Services
For emergency situations that require immediate and
urgent assistance call.  000
National Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault –
(24 hours)   1800 200 526
Lifeline (24 hours)  131 114
MensLine (24 hours)  1300 78 99 78
Kids Help Line (24 hours)  1800 551 800
VIC Women’s D V Crisis Service
1800 015 188
Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line
1800 806 292
Men’s Referral Service
1800 065 973