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Confronting Family Violence: a challenge for the Catholic Church to make a difference

On 24 February, a public forum at the Australian Catholic University (ACU), Melbourne, will explore how the Catholic Church, through its parishes and organisations, can play a significant role in combating family violence. Click here for a flyer, and here for a media statement announcing the event.
Family violence is a crisis in Australia – on average each week in Australia a woman dies as a result of family violence. It is estimated that 1 in 4 children experience the fear and distress of witnessing their mother being abused. Overwhelmingly the victims of family violence are women and children.
Our increased awareness of family violence in Australia compels all parts of the community to make a difference.
As part of its 2016 conference ‘REVIEW, REIMAGINE, RENEW: Mission making a difference in a changing world’ (Melbourne 24-26 February 2016), CSSV and CSSA, in conjunction with the Australian Catholic University, will be holding a public forum on this important issue.  
The Forum will explore the key issues in prevention of family violence, the capacity of education to make a difference, and how the Catholic Church can contribute to this cultural change.  
Experts will also consider how church communities can respond appropriately to victims and offenders, through links with specialist services and awareness of the issues. 

The Forum will be chaired by Joce Bignold, the CEO of McAuley Community Services for Women, and Chairperson of the Western Integrated Family
• Sr Michelle Reid rgs, Good Samaritan Inn  Violence Committee. The Panel members are –
• Donella Johnston, Director, National Office for the Participation of Women, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
• Paul Linossier, CEO Wesley Mission, and previously founding CEO, Our Watch
• Charlie King OAM, Board Member, Our Watch.
Following questions from the audience, Bishop Vincent Long will respond to the discussion and issues raised.
Media contact Denis Fitzgerald on 0418 136 372.

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