This September pray for women in the countries of Austria, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
The number of reported rapes and cases of domestic violence and workplace harassment are on the rise. Even in modern Western and Southern Europe – and in the Nordic countries, where gender equality is the standard in education and careers – many women and girls continue to experience verbal, emotional, and physical abuse at home, school, and work. And many of them are speaking up and saying, “No more!”
In October 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” Hundreds of thousands responded the first two days. People from around the world gained courage to speak up and tell others that they, too, had been abused by bosses, leaders, co-workers, and others. Finally, people were talking about sexual abuse and demanding that abusers be held accountable. Women who had been told, “No one will believe you” or “It was your fault,” realized that they were not alone. These horrible abuses happened not only to women in poverty or the forgotten refugees, but also to powerful, famous women. More women began to believe that it was no longer a shameful secret they had to keep to themselves.
Too many women living in Europe still believe no one cares about the abuse they suffer in their homes or at work in the face of threats against their jobs. Immigrants and refugees in Europe who fled persecution, war, and family abuse often continue to be abused, and many are trafficked into prostitution.
Prostitution is legal in many European countries, and the largest percentage of women forced to sell their services are foreigners. Some countries have made it illegal to profit from others’ sexual services (pimping, in other words) or to pay for sex, noting that these acts are violence against women.
Pray with us that more will be done to give abused women in Europe dignity and hope for a better future.
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