'No more': how churches in Honduras reduced violence against women
Warning: contains mentions of sexual and gender-based-violence that some readers may find upsetting.
Written by Agnes McGrane | 13 Aug 2021
‘If it had not ended, I think I would be dead by now,’ she says. Estella first heard the truth of how women deserve to be valued, treated with respect and care when she attended a support group run by Tearfund’s local partner.
Tearfund and our partner are working closely with ten churches in Honduras, establishing community groups to support women like Estella. The groups discuss healthy relationships between men and women, raise awareness in the wider community, and provide emotional support for survivors. So far, at least 120 women and girls have been supported in their emotional, spiritual and physical recovery.
Through the group’s support, Estella realised the behaviour she had accepted as normal was abuse. She gained confidence that she should not be subjected to violence.
‘I decided that I am a brave woman,’ says Estella. ‘That’s when I said: “No more. Enough violence." It has not been easy. But, thank God, the day came that I had to end this situation.
‘The meetings have helped to heal my soul. I can help other women who have suffered the same. I am no longer afraid. I don't feel ashamed because I know that there are women who have gone through the same.’
Empowered to help
Training from Tearfund’s local partner empowered church leaders to help even more women like Estella. Husband and wife pastors Marvin and Dilsia now speak out against violence from a biblical perspective. They can also spot the signs of abuse and respond appropriately.
‘This project taught me how to support women who have suffered violence,’ says Pastor Dilsia. ‘I am already more confident to talk [about it] and empowered to help others.’
Pastor Marvin has started challenging the harmful beliefs held by many men in the community.
‘Thank the Lord, many things have changed,’ says Pastor Marvin. ‘We have a weekly men’s meeting, where we talk about our problems and support each other. Now there is less violence.’
A new way
Pray with us
Written by Agnes McGrane
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