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Author of the month

Transforming Mindsets and Shifting Paradigms

Elaine Storkey

Dr Elaine Storkey is a philosopher, sociologist, and theologian, who has held university posts at Kings College, London, Stirling, Oxford, and the Open University, in addition to visiting professorships in the USA and New Zealand. Elaine has also has lectured in Africa, Asia, Haiti and across Europe been involved with BBC and other broadcasting companies for 30 years. Her writing includes nine books and hundreds of journal articles Elaine’s presidency of the NGO, Tearfund, spanned 17 years enabling her to focus on the issues women face across the world. Listening to women who have endured multiple forms of violence in different continents brought home how violence becomes culturally institutionalized and how much these forms have in common. It also pushed her to write Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women, published in 2015. Her writing and speaking have earned her many awards. Her most recent book is Women in a Patriarchal World: 25 empowering stories from the Bible which was published during Covid19 lockdown 2020.

‘Abuse can begin at the start of a relationship, but it can also suddenly erupt after years spent together. It can occur in ‘forced’ marriages, where the woman has few legal rights or protection, or it can occur in relationships where the woman has chosen her partner and is ‘protected’ by the law. It can follow a generational pattern, where the abuser has grown up in a dysfunctional family or with a violent parent, but it can also begin without any previous family patterns of abuse. It can be affected by poverty and scarce resources, but also found in highly affluent contexts. It can be part of overall violence in society – war or tribal fighting – or it can occur in situations of peace and calm. It can be related to trigger points – unemployment, financial loss, depression – or it can come without warning. It can be accompanied by irritability and anger, or it can be a calculated and deliberate way of inflicting pain on another. It can be associated with alcohol or drug abuse, but be inflicted too by those who are stone cold sober. In short, domestic abuse covers so many multiple forms that even those who are enveloped within it do not always recognize it for what it is. At its core, it happens because an abusive person chooses to behave in a way that gives maximum power over the other. The abuser deliberately acts to dominate and control.’

– Excerpt from Chapter 6 of Scars Across Humanity, Elaine Storkey

’“Almost every society on earth practices some form of violence against women, which becomes institutionalised in that society. So for many [women] this is perfectly normal, there’s nothing odd about it. It’s just normal.”

“Your journey [as a man] is finding out what it means to be you. The touchstone is to be a human being, what is it to be a human being and it is to be someone created by God to love. And to give and to share and to bless and to heal and to build up and not to destroy.” – Elaine Storkey, Nomad Podcast

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Contemplating inspiration

An in-depth exploration of the breadth, intensity and root causes of gender-based violence against women, and the resources we need to drawn on in order to make a meaningful and effective stand against it.

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