Ending the War Against Women

On June 3, 1990, the church celebrated Pentecost. Sojourners sponsored Peace Pentecost 1990 -- "Breaking the Silence: A Call to End Violence Against Women." Worship services, vigils, and processions were held throughout the country.

In Washington, DC, we began our service at Luther Place Memorial Church. We followed with a procession to McPherson Square Park. Along the way we stopped four times: at Bethany Women's Shelter, where we focused on domestic violence; at The Washington Post building, where we made a note of the media's silence about incest; at an alley where a homeless woman had been raped; and at a video store which -- like most video stores -- carries a large selection of pornography.

At each stop, we listened to statistics, then offered a litany and a refrain of the song, "O God, Give Us Power."

We concluded our service at the park, where we were moved and empowered by testimonies from survivors of the war against women. A bell was rung every three-and-a-half minutes throughout our service, a powerful reminder that every three-and-a-half minutes a woman is a target of rape or attempted rape in the United States.

Below is the reflection offered by Joyce Hollyday at Luther Place Memorial Church.

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