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Gender-Based Violence

“Gender-based violence is an ancient sin that for thousands years has harmed countless women, children and men. It is a sin that Christians need to recognize, understand and confront, for our religious history also bears its stain.” ELCA social message on Gender-Based Violence, pg 1.

According to the ELCA social message on Gender-Based Violence, physical, sexual, or emotional harm directed at a person based on gender, sex, or sexuality is gender-based violence. For example, domestic violence is a form of gender-based violence; it is a pattern of violent behaviors used to control an intimate partner that crosses all economic, social and cultural boundaries. It may be physical, but it may also take on more subtle forms such as emotional, verbal or financial intimidation and control. See our congregational resources for more action steps.

Take action

  • Call or write to your congressional leaders, urging them to take a strong stand on gender-based violence and protection for survivors. To find your elected officials, go to our advocacy page.
  • Connect with the ELCA’s Washington Office and the Lutheran Office for World Community. Connect with the Washington Office and learn about national and international Lutheran advocacy at the United Nations.
  • Human trafficking, the second-largest and fastest-growing illegal trade in the world, is modern-day slavery wherein people are in bondage through fraud, force or coercion. Learn more about this type of gender-based violence in our resources. Report suspicious activity related to human trafficking at 1-888-3737-888.