The way women are treated is never to be considered a “distraction” from more “important” issues. The treatment of women is the principle indicator not only of the character of individuals but of society itself. The time has passed for anyone to be tolerant of the abuse of women or to think that such behavior can be easily dismissed. The Interfaith Peace Project has long upheld the full rights and dignity of women. We encourage all women to claim their dignity, find their voice, and stand up for what is right, just, true and good.
We are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of women whose lives and health are endangered by the abusive rhetoric infecting the current political campaign for President of the United States. We encourage everyone to understand that such language and behavior enables abusers. We offer the following considerations in this highly charged political environment in which women have been both demeaned and attacked.
1) It is important for women to support one another with respect, patience and care as they confront the assault against them that dominates the current environment,
2) Religious communities must reconsider their teachings and beliefs regarding women insuring that they teach or believe nothing that endangers a woman’s right to live in peace,
3) Religious communities must confront any political positions that manipulate or compromise the rights of women to live as full-fledged human beings,
4) Religious communities must encourage women and all victims of abuse to seek the help they need,
5) We must realize that apology for past abuse is not enough. Religious communities must insist that the systematic causes of abuse be recognized and corrected,
6) Religious communities must encourage the creation of “safe places” for those who are threatened by abuse. In fact, we encourage religious communities to ensure that their houses of worship be safe places for all.
Our comments are not politically motivated. Rather, we are deeply concerned about the issue of abuse of women that is an unfortunate and dangerous part of our culture. The time is long overdue for us to seriously confront this issue. The lives of real women and girls depend on how honestly and courageously we confront the issues of abuse.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
With The Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project