SGBV and Church

In communities around the world, church networks are reaching the most vulnerable people in areas where NGOs cannot reach. Tearfund is committed to working with the local church and believes in the church’s limitless potential for outreach and influence for change through and in its community. 

The church has an active role in the promotion of gender equality, equitable relationships and positive masculinities through the teaching and study of scriptures. The church also can bring holistic transformation in the lives people, and can be mobilised to break the silence on SGBV, tackle stigmatisation of survivors, and provide support for survivors of SGBV. The church can be a safe space for healing and restoration of broken lives and relationships.

Churches around the world are using the Transforming Masculinities approach to engage churches and communities to address harmful gender norms through biblical reflections.

‘Before the training, my wife didn’t have rights to my material possessions but now we share the family’s bank account. I started engaging the men to encourage women of my church to use their talents for the kingdom of God and women are very happy and very active.’

Pastor Noel, Assemblies of God, Kayonza, Rwanda (from Quick Guide to Transforming Masculinities)

This section will highlight the role of the church and church communities through research, programmatic guide and policy briefs. The resources will be useful for tools on engaging with faith leaders and communities on this theme, and also for providing evidence and support for the growing discourse on faith and gender, globally.

resourceS ON SGBV AND the CHURCH

Community-based research reports

Rethinking relationships - front coverRethinking relationships: from violence to equality in the DRC, evidence brief (PDF 673 KB)
Key findings of endline survey undertaken across 15 communities in Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo about faith, gender norms and SGBV in conflict affected communities.

Does faith matter front coverDoes faith matter? (PDF 505 KB)
This report presents key findings of a baseline survey undertaken across 15 communities in Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo about faith, gender norms and SGBV in conflict-affected communities. Also available in French (PDF 537 KB)
This resource also exists as a Policy Brief: Does faith matter? Policy brief (PDF 335 KB). Also available in French (PDF 799 KB)

Who can we turn to front coverWho can I turn to? (PDF 468 KB)
This report provides an insight into mapping social connections, trust and problem-solving among conflict-affected populations in Iraq.
This resource also exists as a Policy Brief: Who can I turn to? - Policy Brief (PDF 473 KB)

Silent no more report cover

Silent No More (PDF 2.3 MB)
Based on research from Liberia, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, this report presents how churches have perpetuated a culture of silence around sexual violence and have largely failed to respond to the crisis. This report calls all churches to account and to action.
This report is also available in French (PDF 1.4 MB).

Breaking the silence report coverBreaking the Silence (PDF 369 KB)
A report on the role of the South African church to end sexual violence.  



Resources for churches

Churches can use the Transforming Masculinities approach to engage leadership and members on addressing harmful gender norms through biblical reflections and the Journey to Healing process to support survivors in their community 

Transforming Masculinities Quick Guide front cover

Quick Guide to Transforming Masculinities (PDF 118 KB)
This two-pager gives an overview of our approach. It illustrates how we work with faith leaders and train Gender Champions to facilitate community dialogues between men and women.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 143 KB) and Portuguese (PDF 173 KB)

Hand in Hand SV front cover

Hand in hand: Bible studies to transform our response to sexual violence (PDF 1.5 MB)
This booklet contains 12 Bible studies covering a range of topics related to sexual violence. The booklet includes guidance for facilitators and advice on adapting the Bible studies for use as sermons.
This resource is also available in French (PDF 1.5 MB) and Portuguese (PDF 1.5 MB)