“I would see family violence as the greatest social epidemic of our time.”
Chief Executive, Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service, Victoria, Australia
There is an epidemic ravaging Central America – the Pan-American Health Organization calls it “a critical public health concern.” Those living there label it “an ongoing threat to life.”
It is not a biological disease… It is not hunger… It is not civil war… It is domestic violence.
Authorities agree that Central America is in peril. Without healing and transformation, the cycle of violence continues from one generation to the next. Adults abuse children, who grow up and become adults who abuse children – and all of Central America suffers.
Domestic violence affects not only individual families, but also the socio-economic development of the entire region, perpetuating poverty and hopelessness. Victims average more surgeries, pharmacy visits, hospital stays, and mental health consultations.
What can be done to stem the rising tide of violence against women and children? Who will rebuild these broken families? There is only one solution to this epidemic: hearts transformed by the Word of God.
To help address this social epidemic, the Canadian Bible Society and its global partners have launched a significant campaign in Central America: “Yes, There Is a Solution to Domestic Violence!” This initiative aims to:
- Reach over 400,000 people in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua with the life-changing message of the Bible;
- Bring about change in cultural views, particularly on how men – and society in general – treat women;
- Provide an avenue for victims to find emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
As a result of this program, people have been transformed. The following are a few of these stories of changed lives:
Dominican Republic: Cesar’s story
Domestic violence is so prevalent in the Dominican Republic that it is considered normal. But Cesar needed a ‘new normal.’ He struggled to overcome aggression, born out of years of abuse and rejection. Fortunately, Cesar encountered God through a Bible Society program in a rehabilitation centre. After discovering Jesus’ redeeming love, he began the hard work of reconciling with those he had previously hurt. His words as he left were, “Today, I want to be a new man!”
Honduras: Maria’s story
In a country where 95% of domestic and sexual abuse cases go unpunished, there is little or no motivation to change. This is not news to Maria Piñeda, who grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, and continued the cycle of violence in her early relationships with abusive men. Maria recalls: “It was a bitter and meaningless life. I thought I could never be happy.”
Then Maria encountered the Word of God through ‘Yes There Is a Solution to Domestic Violence!’ She shares how God broke through to help her rebuild: “God and His Word have given me strength and hope and helped me to move forward. I realize the value I have as a woman in God’s plan.”
There’s more work to be done in addressing domestic violence, especially when change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a huge job, reshaping cultural views on violence in the light of God’s Word. But it is possible and we invite you to join us in this life-transforming task. Here’s what your support can accomplish:
- $50 will provide 40 Scripture resources tailored especially to children, helping little ones who have witnessed domestic violence, and affirming God’s love for their lives.
- $100 will send 20 families to Bible-based training workshops.
- $250 will equip leaders dealing with domestic violence with the training and resources they need to help others.