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Working together for gender justice against domestic abuse

Lesley and Elineide

Lesley Orr
For Lesley Orr, a lifelong passion for campaigning against gender-based violence began with a community-based church project and a volunteering role with a local Women’s Aid group.
 
Living and working alongside girls and young women became an experiential way of tuning into stories of abuse and how it was gendered.
 
Her concern and horror at the untold stories of women experiencing violence in the church led her to co-ordinate a ground-breaking action-research project at Edinburgh University, ‘Out of the Shadows: Christianity and violence against women in Scotland.'
 
Lesley has opened up spaces in the Church - in Scotland and globally - for women to be heard and believed. She has mobilised women to speak out against the structures that oppress them and challenged churches to ensure that gender justice is at the heart of all our work and witness.

When I interviewed women about their experiences of domestic abuse within a faith context what they appreciated was the opportunity to be listened to – and above all believed.

Lesley Orr

Elineide Ferreira

Reverend Elineide Ferreira is an Episcopal priest in the city of Ariquemes in the northern state of Rondonia, in Brazil.

Having seen many women including her own sister suffer, Elineide felt called to create a refuge for women fleeing domestic violence. She has welcomed hundreds of women and their children through the doors of the safe house, Casa Noeli dos Santos.

She helps the women report crimes to the police. The police station can be a frightening place, and the officers don’t always want to help. She makes legal referrals and finds schools for children who have fled with their mothers. When the women leave the refuge, she travels with them to help them feel safe.

A vibrant advocate for changing systems and structures that perpetuate gender inequality, Elineide is deeply rooted within her community and is a beacon of light for gender-based violence across Brazil.

I don't do this for money. I don't do this for recognition. I do this to see women rebuild their lives.

Reverend Elineide Ferreira