Since the 1970s, Sojourners has been committed to resisting sexism in all its forms, while affirming the integrity and equality of women and men in the church and in the larger world. Through biblical education, creative advocacy, and bridge building, we champion policies at home and abroad that fortify women’s health and dignity through eliminating gender discrimination and abuse, increasing economic empowerment, and supporting women's leadership in the church and beyond.
Our Latest Work
Take the Back2School Challenge
Faith leaders often report feeling ill-equipped to respond to sexual and domestic violence in their congregations and communities. Join the Back2School Challenge to urge theological schools to offer more training on these issues. Sign up now—and you’ll receive our toolkit to help you advocate for change!
When I first read about the rape of Tamar, I was astonished. This tragic story of a beautiful princess — sexually violated by her half-brother and then betrayed by her powerful father — left me aghast. What could I do with this troubling tale, tucked among pages of scripture where I sought spiritual guidance?
Throughout my life in the church, I had never heard the name “Tamar.” No reference to this daughter of King David. No remembrance of her profound suffering and grief.
It’s not an easy story to hear, especially within the biblical narrative of God’s love and providential care for God’s people. It’s like a well-guarded family secret no one dares mention, as if it might swell into a crushing typhoon, leaving devastation in its wake. Following tradition, I hoped not to encounter Tamar’s story again.
If shunning the ancient biblical story of Tamar is all too easy, avoiding news of unrelenting violence against women is becoming harder.
The statistics are staggering: One in three women will experience violence in their lifetime. Ending this cycle of abuse can seem impossible. But, as Jesus tells us, “for God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).
The Scheherazade Initiative is putting this issue center stage at Carnegie Hall on October 19 through a benefit concert for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, featuring the great Scheherazade-inspired works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Maurice Ravel. As the narrator of One Thousand and One Nights, Sheherazade not only neutralized violence directed against herself but enriched global folklore. She embodies the creative power of women over the centuries and around the world who have worked privately and publicly to stop violence.
The terrifying rate at which women are dying at the hands of their intimate partners intersects with an entrenched American gun culture that has sold believers on the idea that more guns means more safety.
What Judges 19 Has to Say About Domestic Violence
Judges 19 is a story of intimate betrayal and the complicity of a larger community calling us to consider our own roles in our communities...The sheer horror of what this woman endured—including at the hands of husband and host—extinguishes the fires of my sanctified imagination. I can only conjure her screams. And I have no words to express them. One might look to God for a final word, but God is absent from the chapter, as this chapter and any mention of domestic violence is absent from too many pulpits.
Bruised and battered in body and spirit, many victims of domestic violence are looking to faith communities for guidance. We must do more to make sure our congregations are safe spaces for survivors of abuse. And that starts with naming the sin of domestic violence in our churches and examining how our own sacred texts have been misinterpreted to condone such abuse.
This October—as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month—we’re featuring a new online series called Troubling Texts: Domestic Violence in the Bible. With thought-provoking commentary from experts, pastors, and emerging scholars, we'll take a hard look at how scripture has been used to justify domestic violence.
- 1 of 10
- next ›
Fund This Work
Sojourners lifts up the voices of diverse women, champions policies that promote women's empowerment, and educates churches and people of faith on the biblical basis of gender equity. Help support this important work!