A call to intensify “efforts to support the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters”, to combat “the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected” and for “a growing commitment to fight against all form of exploitation”. Pope Francis made this appeal in a message sent through the Secretariat of State to mark the “Day for Life”, which is celebrated on 16 June in England and Wales. The Day this year is dedicated to domestic abuse. “One in four women and about one in six men – a statement from the English Bishops’ Conference reads – suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime. Two women are killed every week in England by a partner or ex-partner”. In his message, Pope Francis refers to the “scourge of domestic abuse”. “The responsibility to share the good news that every human life is beautiful and sacred – the message reads – is a noble calling, and the Holy Father offers his encouragement to all who strive to promote a culture of life, gladly imparting his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord”.
Bishop John Sherrington, responsible for the “Day for Life” in England and Wales, said: “These shocking statistics call us to fight against the scourge of domestic abuse. There are situations where “the home is far from being a place of security and self-fulfilment”. “Too often it is a place of suffering, fear, degradation and isolation. Domestic abuse is often a hidden problem, and our aim is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse to feel able to have confidence to seek help within the Church setting”. The goal of the awareness campaign for the Day is to invite the Churches to take “a step towards addressing this serious moral and social problem”.