Faiths Together in Croydon held a women only domestic violence event in November.  Speakers were: Paula Doherty (Strategic Manager, Troubled Families and Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence in Croydon);  Rev Amanda (Vicar of St Mary Magdalene); and Shaykhah Mezabin (Scholar of Islam).

Paula outlined the problems of domestic abuse and the scale of the problem in Croydon.  Croydon is in the top 5 boroughs in London for recorded DV crimes.  Of the female population over 16 (149,189) approx. 37,297 (1 in 4) are likely victims.  Half of homicides in England are a result of domestic abuse.  DV is 25% of all reported violent crime.  Two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner.  Police receive a call about DV every 30 seconds.  She showed a DVD about a woman trying to leave her abusive husband.

Rev Amanda and Shaykhah both stressed that any form of violence was against the preaching of their faith.  Neither Jesus nor Mohammed used any form of violence.    In Christianity human beings are created to live in relationships of love and mutual respect and mutual self-giving.  Husband and wife are equal and different, and are made to live in harmony with one another.  In Islam the Quran describes loving relationships between men and women.  Marriage is tranquillity, comfort, love.  Harm should not be inflicted, nor should it be retaliated with harm.  Harm is oppression.

Paula showed a DVD about a woman trying to leave her abusive husband.  There was discussion in groups about what someone gains and loses by leaving an abusive relationship.  The losses are all immediate – the gains in the future.

Paula concluded by saying this is the responsibility of us all.  There is no community where it doesn’t exist.  In every room of people there is someone affected directly or indirectly.

Where to go for help:

www.familyjusticecentre@croydon.gov.uk

020 8688 0100

www.croydon.gov.uk/domesticabuse
(includes a step by step guide of what to do if you are worried about someone)

Add your name to campaign to end Domestic Violence
Croydon is seeking 100,000 signatures for a petition requesting a national register of domestic violence and sexual abuse offenders. Sign here