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The reality is harsh. We see it on the news.
Read about it in the newspaper.
Pop culture sings about it in their music.
While famous athletes and entertainers claim the headlines, those most vulnerable to Domestic Violence (DV) or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) never make the front page of the news. Why?
Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence is often viewed as a private or personal matter. There is a great fear of retaliation, as well as the belief that nothing can or will be done. The Cumberland Presbyterian Women’s Ministry will strive to help build promising futures for victims of domestic violence in Guatemala, as well as in our own communities. Together, we can help Build a Promising Future for all of God’s children.
Domestic Violence Statistics
Domestic violence is a reality throughout the world. Guatemala is one of the most dangerous places for women in all of Latin America. It has the 3rd highest rate of femicide in the world according to a study conducted by The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. Femicide is the intentional murder of women because they are women. While men are victims of domestic violence, the greater percentage is women.
- 85% of all victims are women,
- One-fourth of women worldwide will experience domestic/dating violence in their lifetime,
- Women between the ages of 20-24 are at greatest risk,
- One-half of all homeless women and children in the US are fleeing from domestic violence,
- Boys who witness domestic violence are two times as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults making domestic violence cyclical and systemic in nature.
(National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Fact Sheet)
Building a Promising Future in Guatemala will help to break this cycle of abuse by providing education and training in the public schools while at the same time building strong connections between the schools and the Cumberland Presbyterian churches. This ministry of reconciliation will serve to build up strong, healthy families by building up strong, healthy children.
For the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Guatemala is the “doorway” into Central America. Building a Promising Future will serve to build up the infrastructure of the family in Guatemala, as well as build up the schools and neighborhoods where there is a program. Building a Promising Future will enable CP Women’s Ministry to STEP OUT with the love of Jesus Christ to hurting women and children in Guatemala, and ultimately throughout all of Central America with the eventual establishment of the Center for a Promising Future.
Building a Promise Future is very much in Guatemala, but it is also very much “at home.” Wherever “home” may be for you. Regardless of where you live, domestic violence is a reality. And we are called to partner with God to help build a future of promise and hope for those who suffer from this sin. So, how can you become a BUILDER?
Step One – LEARN what God’s word says about violence/abuse; learn what is happening in Guatemala and in your own neighborhood/church/home.
Step Two – PRAY for the women/men and children who are victims of domestic violence, pray for organizations and ministries that are working to end DV and provide healing and hope to those who’ve suffered injuries, pray for the abusers that they will be reconciled to God, their family and loved one.
Step Three – GET INVOLVED, pick up a tool and get busy building, share the domestic violence hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233), give money to this project, pray daily, give an informational program to your women’s group or church, invite a speaker on the topic to your meeting, take up a collection of PJs and books and donate to a safe shelter, plan now to observe Domestic Violence during the month of October, wear purple… you get the idea.
Laying the Foundation for a Promising Future
Pilot programs have already taken place in Guatemala. The Reverend Josefina Sanchez, pastor of Casa De Fe CPC in Boston, MA has developed training curriculum and trained seven new teachers from CP Guatemala churches. In addition, she and her team have established the program in four schools in Guatemala City, with plans to increase the number of public schools participating as trainers are available.
Building A Promising Future is coming to life in 12 recent youth graduates of the first course. They were involved in the production and filming of a promotional video (see below), which will be used in the schools and churches. The video present at the top of this page was created by Rev. Sanchez to help promote the project and tell the story. In the words of Rev. Sanchez, “the seed planted through the project curriculum has started to give hope to their hearts and a voice of the gospel message has sounded outside the church walls.” Thanks be to God!
Small steps taken by hundreds of faith-filled, caring people who love Jesus can truly help to build a promising future in Guatemala, and in the United States, in Japan, Mexico, Colombia, or wherever there is pain and brokenness due to domestic violence.
The Three Year Vision
First year (2015-2016) – $5,000 – these funds will be used to fund curriculum development, project resources, and provide transportation expenses to implement the program in Guatemala.
Second year (2016-2017) – $10,000 – these funds will be used to continue the program in the schools, and expand it into more schools. It will help with transportation expenses to further develop and train local leadership to implement the program. Monies will also be used to begin the process of establishing the Center.
Third year (2017-2018) $20,000 – this money will be used to continue to expand the program into more schools; to establish the Center and secure necessary resources in order to plant this Cumberland Presbyterian ministry of reconciliation and hope firmly in the soil of Guatemala and Central America
“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)