Pope Francis announced his annual New Year’s message, strongly calling for an end to violence against women. He expressed shock at the number of abuse women have been facing from men. Pope said that hurting a woman is directly insulting to God as He chose to further humanity through her.
Pope delivered his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 1st Jan 2022. He celebrated the new year with a Mass for the solemnity of The Holy Mary Mother of Jesus. The Roman Catholic church marks 1st January as the world’s peace day and pays tribute to the Virgin Mary.
Enough Violence Against Women
The pope started the new year by praising women for their skills in promoting world peace. He said that mothers know how to overcome disagreements and obstacles to instill peace. They turn problems into opportunities and allow rebirth and growth. He explained women can do this because they are keepers and hold together different threads of life. Francis added that we need such people who can weave threads of unity instead of barriers of division and conflict. He condemned violence against women and urged everyone to push in promoting mothers and protecting women. Expressing displeasure at how women are being treated by men, he exclaimed “Enough!”. Pope also shared a part of his statement on Twitter.
The Pandemic of Domestic Abuse
Pope has spoken against domestic abuse many times since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Reports revealed a lot of horrific cases of domestic violence in several countries. It was like women were trapped with their abusers when the world governments ordered a lockdown.
During a TV program in Italy last month, Francis met a woman who was brutally beaten by her ex-husband. He told her that whenever a man commits violence against women, he had engaged in something “almost satanic”.
The issue which experts termed as “intimate terrorism” was prevalent all over the world.
According to reports, in China, lockdown proved hell for a 26-year-old woman who suffered abuse regularly in her 6-year-old relationship with her husband. By staying together 24/7 in one house, their arguments got severe and the husband ended up beating her with a chair while she was holding her baby. Equality, a Beijing-based NGO dedicated to fighting violence against women reported a surge in distress calls since the government locked down cities in China.
In Spain, the domestic violence emergency number received 18% more calls within the first 2 weeks of lockdown. On the other hand, French authorities reported a 30% spike in domestic violence cases. Experts and researchers found that the coercive methods that abusers used to control their partners and kids, resembled the same methods a criminal or an oppressive regime would use on their hostages or political prisoners.