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For our daughters

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is on Saturday 25 November.

Violence against women and girls is something straight from the pit of hell. I don’t usually speak so strongly or use the word hell very often at all, but violence against females tries to destroy women’s self-esteem, sense of value, sense of safety, relationship with God and their very lives.

I don’t know the stories you are carrying with you as you read this. I do know, though, that if you have experienced violence committed against you, it has affected the very core of who you are – how you have felt about yourself, how you perceived how others felt about you, and how you related to God.

It left scars – some visible and some naked to the human eye, but painful just the same. To you today, I say I am sorry this happened to you; I am sorry you had to experience something so painful. As a victim-survivor of domestic violence, I want to say – I see you today, God sees you today.

For those of you who may not have experienced the horror of violence committed against you, I say thank you God. I am glad that is not your story.

Sadly, though, it is the story for so many women and girls around the world:

• Gender-based violence is a global pandemic that affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime.

• Globally, around 736 million women are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner.

• Intimate partner violence is the most common form suffered by women, with around 641 million affected globally.

• Younger women remain particularly at risk of violence, with 1 in 4 women aged 15 to 24 suffering violence at the hands of an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties.

• Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.

• In Australia, 1 in 6 women or 1.7 million women, have experienced physical violence at the hands of their partner.

• In Australia, from 2021-2023, 3 in 10 assault hospitalisations were due to family and domestic violence.

Each horrific statistic represents our sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, mothers – they represent women with names, with families and friends and stories to tell. Women who are deeply valued and loved by God.

Let’s just take some time to lament over what we just read. To lament is to acknowledge and respond to the pain happening around the world, in our nation, in our communities and in our families.

Those statistics represent some deeply sad things, and I believe we must take time to mourn and grieve over them, to lament and bring them all before God. To cry out to God with our grief while also acknowledging his faithfulness.

Pray with me as you read this prayer of lament:

Hear us, Lord Jesus.

We cry out just now for all your daughters around the world who have been victims of partner and family violence – Lord, bring healing and freedom.

Hear us, Lord Jesus.

We cry out for all your daughters who have been raped and abused – Lord, bring justice.

Hear us, Lord Jesus.

We cry out for your daughters who have been murdered and for those who grieve them – Lord, bring comfort.

Hear us, Lord Jesus.

We cry out just now for all your daughters around the world who have experienced deep shame, humiliation and thoughts of suicide because of what has happened to them – Lord, bring hope and peace.

Bring healing.

Bring freedom.

Bring peace.

Bring justice.

Bring comfort.

Bring hope.


*Captain Sandra Pawar is an Australian Salvation Army officer (pastor) serving in the United States.

For more information and resources, go to the MySalvos toolkit by clicking here

If you or someone you know needs help, call 000 in case of emergency, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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