More than 70 prominent religious leaders representing all major faiths signed a declaration on Tuesday with the NSW Government to help end domestic violence.
Archimandrite Eusebios (Pantanassiotis) signed the declaration on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
The declaration, which was developed in consultation with leaders from the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh communities, included a number of commitments drafted and agreed to by the interfaith group to address, respond to and speak out against acts of domestic violence and better support victims
Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the declaration demonstrated a whole of community response to domestic and family violence.
“This declaration by senior faith leaders has helped create a united sense of purpose, ownership and commitment to reduce the prevalence of domestic and family violence,” Mrs Ward said.
“Everyone can make a difference and be a part of the change in ensuring domestic and family violence is neither excused nor ignored in our community.”
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said when community and religious leaders and the NSW Government work together, everyone benefits.
“We know these leaders play an incredibly important role within their respective communities and are looked to for guidance and information,” Mr Coure said.
“The NSW Government recognises this and our partnership with them is the key to connecting with communities more effectively, especially when it comes to important issues like domestic and family violence.
“We have been actively working with these leaders to provide them with the skills and information they need to help people when they are approached or engaging with their communities.”
Reverend Simon Hansford from the Uniting Church said the signing of the declaration signified a momentous occasion, bringing together a diverse group of faith leaders to formally commit to working with the NSW Government in ending family violence.
“Domestic and family violence occurs across the whole of society, and it does not discriminate,” Reverend Hansford said.
“We acknowledge that communities have not always been a safe place for victims, survivors, and the families of those who experience domestic violence and as such we accept the important role that we as leaders have in addressing domestic and family violence in all its forms.”
The declaration can be found here.