"Sharing is caring" I hear my little granddaughter say.
"Sharing is caring" children sing in nursery schools and on playgrounds.
#SharingIsCaring in hundreds of thousands of tweets and social media posts.
Sharing toys, sharing food, sharing joy, sharing love, sharing stories, sharing pain, sharing our lives, from our house to yours.
“Sharing is caring” – it seems so simple, so logical. And so, it is!
Until it is not…
- until Daddy hits Mommy, and the children hear "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share, because maybe Daddy will have to go away…
- until the woman is raped, and she hears "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share, because it will bring shame on your husband and on the house…
- until grandpa comes into the little child’s room at night, and they hear "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share, because things like that cannot happen in our house…
- until the sex workers body is bruised and battered and she hears "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share, because you brought it on yourself…
- until the young girl is abused and she hears "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share, because you know your dress was too short, and you had too much to drink, and that club you were at is really not a savoury place…
- until the wife asks the church for support to leave her husband and she hears "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share, because what God has joined together, let no one separate…
"Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share...”
And the pain is buried. The shame grows. The problem of sexual and gender-based violence is submerged under layers of silence and suppression.
So, this year, during the 16 Days campaign, we would like to challenge you in your house, and us in our house, and all of us in the bigger oikos-house to break the silence.
As WCC communicators and as communicators in faith communities, in Geneva and in the world, we have a particular responsibility to share:
- to challenge and disrupt violence when we see it in our homes, in our communities, in our workplace and in the wider society
- to address societal and religious values that place greater importance on the lives of men than on that of women and children, that do not view all humans as equally created in the image of God
- to believe those sharing their stories, not to silence them, but to encourage them to speak up and speak out with our support
- to encourage sharing of this difficult and complex part of our communal life
- to commit never to say: "Shhhhh, don't talk, don't share...”
We want to share. Share fully: Share toys, share food, share joy, share love, share stories, share pain, share our lives from our house to yours.
We want you to share with us – so that the silence is broken, and we can restore justice, respect, dignity and equality.