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Baltimore-Washington United Methodist Women Members Participate in Seminar on Domestic Violence

By Ashley Baker

December 10 is the International Day of Human Rights and marks the end of the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. This year’s 16 Days Campaign theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism to End Violence Against Women.” The theme explores the deeper systems that support violence against women and girls.

Forty-two United Methodist Women members from the Baltimore-Washington Conference gathered at the Church Center for the United Nations with the United Methodist Seminars on National and International Affairs to explore the rampant issue of violence against women and children. The two-day seminar included worship focused around the story of Tamar, speakers, discussion, activities and action planning. The speakers included Safe Horizon, Voices of Women Organizing Project, U.N. Women and 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Seminar participants were challenged by Baltimore-Washington Conference United Methodist Women member Sumayya Coleman on how The United Methodist Church responds to domestic violence. Ann Price, Baltimore-Washington Conference social action coordinator for United Methodist Women, stated, “Our participation in small group exercises and discussions, role-playing activities, Bible study and action planning was supported by timely and informative presentations from the several knowledgeable and creative seminar presenters.” 

Seminar participants also participated in the “In Her Shoes”simulation (wscadv.org), a simulation in which participants learn about the many barriers and hardships domestic violence victims face. The seminar came to an end with group action planning, led by Women’s Division staff member Julie Taylor. Through action planning, the groups planned a variety of upcoming actions for their districts, local churches and United Methodist Women groups to take within the conference to address violence against women and children.

Ms. Price added, “Armed with an enhanced knowledge and awareness of this pervasive phenomenon, we are now prepared to help educate others in our communities and to work as advocates to help end violence and abuse against women and children everywhere.  Also, by arriving a day early, we were able to enjoy the wonderful ambience of New York City, including Broadway shows, sightseeing and shopping. The seminar trip was an exciting experience for each one of us!” 

One of the planned actions will be a prayer vigil for an end to violence against women on December 10, 2011, at noon (EST). The Baltimore-Washington Conference is also requesting that you petition your national congressional representatives to support two national legislative proposals, the Reauthorization of The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA). Ann Price, Baltimore Washington Conference social action coordinator, can be contacted for more information at pricefa@verizon.net .
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The following is a closing reflection from the seminar on violence against women and children by Sumayya Coleman:

“The sense of collective work and responsibility was exhilarating and hopeful, to see young women of faith to seniors engaged to plan action steps to eradicate violence. I believe God breathed a fresh wind and fire on us all to take our faith to higher levels as we received new ideas and resources, that we would act in intentional ways to bring about measurable results and be humbled by God’s might and power to bring it all to fruition through us. I am looking forward to what 2012 will bring as we join our faith and works together through the caring, courageous, committed United Methodist Women of faith in the Baltimore-Washington Conference.”

To learn more about the Seminar Program, visit

This week also marks the opening of the new domestic violence group on United Methodist Women’s online community, UMWOnline. The group will allow for the sharing of resources, discussion and notification of events in regard to domestic violence. To join the group, visit dom-violence.umwonline.net.

Ashley Baker is an intern with United Methodist Women.

Last Updated: 04/10/2014

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