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Adventist Church in Australia Holds Summit on Porn and Domestic Violence

Leaders call for more to be done to protect victims and the vulnerable in communities.

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Adventist Church in Australia Holds Summit on Porn and Domestic Violence

The Women’s Ministries team across Australia held its first EndItNow summit online on August 27, 2021, to explore pornography and youth violence themes as part of this year’s global EndItNow campaign run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world.

Viewers logged in from around Australia to listen to guest speaker, author, and coach Sarah McDugal talk about sobering statistics and figures on domestic violence and how the Adventist Church can help support those in need.

Viewers wrote more than 400 comments during the program, with many asking a panel of Christian experts for advice, sharing their own stories, and asking for prayer.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2020, property crime decreased while there was a rise in domestic violence, with an increase of 13 percent in police-recorded domestic violence and related sexual assaults.

Each week, one woman is murdered by a current or former partner. At the same time, one in three over the age of 15 have experienced physical violence, and one in five over 15 have experienced sexual violence.

Studies have shown that these figures are no different within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“The summit was awesome and provided the opportunity to start having a conversation that the church needs to focus more on,” Sylvia Mendez, a pastor who is women and family ministries director at the Australian Union Conference, stated.

“There was genuine engagement, and people were grateful for the opportunity to be able to talk about their real stories, real questions, and real challenges,” Mendez said.

The program also touched on how violence is connected with pornography and what churches, schools, and parents could do to have honest conversations with young people about what genuine relationships should look like.

The summit provided viewers with great information on where to find help and steps they could take to approach the issues with young people. Leaders acknowledged, however, that the Adventist Church needs to do more in this sphere to protect children and the vulnerable in the community.

“We need to create a platform where people can ask hard questions,” Mendez said. “We may not have all the answers, but by creating a safe space, it means we can have a discussion.

“After the summit, we have realized that there is a void in this area, and we are dedicated to working with other departments to develop resources and provide training to give churches the tools to help those in need.”

The EndItNow summit is available to view on the Adventist Women Australia Facebook page. It also provides a list of resources for those who need support.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.

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