This week saw the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia welcoming the Governments decision to include faith-based institutions in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care.
It was a significant decision, and inquiry has been renamed to reflect the change - The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions Order 2018.
The governing committee of the Anglican Church had formally written to the Prime Minister in March requesting to be included, saying - "Our primary concern is for the needs of those whose lives have been impacted by abuse, and we are conscious that abuse has been perpetrated by agencies across our society, including the Church and its agencies.
Archbishop Philip Richardson spoke to media shortly after the announcement - "Our Christian faith teaches us the power of truth, justice and reconciliation. We see this Commission of Inquiry as one way we can put that faith into action, and our hope is that this broader inquiry will provide a pathway to healing and wholeness for all concerned."
In just a few days on November 19th, the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse will be recognised.
The Anglican Church is called to be a strong and consistent advocate for preventing violence against all people but particularly women and children. It is crucial that we are sensitive to the needs of all vulnerable people; promote healthy relationships; and provide a safe and supportive environment for those affected by abuse.
There are a number of places to go for resources, here are a couple:
Strandz is the hub of Children + Families ministry in the Anglican Dioceses of New Zealand.
Their website has many links and excellent Anglican ANZP resources.
The Women's World Summit Foundation has produced a prevention kit, central to activities for the “19 Days of activism for prevention of violence against children and youth 1-19 November”.
It addresses what faith-based leaders can do to help end the persistence of violence against children and youth around the world.
In 2000, the Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF), a non-governmental organization, launched the day.