SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Addressing domestic violence in religious communities: Taking stock of lessons and approaches in the era of decolonising knowledge

Prof Nancy-Nason Clark, Mandy Marshall, Huda Jawad & Mahmoud Ali Gomaa Afifi

Date: 26 November 2020Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 26 November 2020Time: 3:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

Efforts to address domestic violence in religious communities are not new. Numerous initiatives by academics, practitioners and religious believers have emerged that recognise the need for a close engagement with religious beliefs and religious personnel, historically neglected in the secular domestic violence sectors dominant in Northern societies. While increasing attention has been given to issues around ethnicity and race, with more community-based organisations sprouting to support ethnic minority groups and populations less integrated in mainstream society, much more needs to happen to achieve a substantive engagement with religio-cultural worldviews and to understand how these intertwine with collective histories, gender norms and individual psychologies to affect attitudes about and responses to domestic violence in communities of distinct religio-cultural traditions.

Moreover, western societies’ particular relationship to ‘religion’ has meant a deeply-rooted discomfort vis-à-vis religious beliefs in public life, which has likely impeded domestic violence practitioners from appreciating fully the resourcefulness of religious traditions and beliefs. Problematically also, less attention has been given to non-western religious contexts, reflecting the continuation of western Euro-centric legacies in domestic violence research and public health practice. Efforts to learn from Southern societies and to employ this knowledge to build more religio-culturally sensitive domestic violence support systems in Northern societies are much needed, but still missing.

This webinar will aim to examine current approaches to domestic violence in religious communities from around the world to explore their contributions and to identify directions for the future. A main objective is to examine past and current approaches with reflexivity to the limitation of western understandings of 'religion' and to contribute to a diversification of domestic violence understandings and approaches by promoting more Southern-Northern knowledge exchange.


The webinar will be hosted by Dr Romina Istratii, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in the School
of History, Religions and Philosophies at SOAS University of London and current Principal
Investigator of the UKRI-funded project "Bridging religious studies, gender & development
and public health to address domestic violence: A novel approach for Ethiopia, Eritrea and
the UK."

  • Prof Nancy-Nason Clark, Professor Emerita of Sociology, the University of New Brunswick and Principal Investigator of the RAVE Project
  • Mandy Marshall, Director for Gender Justice at the Anglican Communion Office
  • Huda Jawad, Faith and Community Programme Manager at Standing Together Against Domestic Violence
  • Mahmoud Ali Gomaa Afifi, PhD student at the University of Lancaster

The presentations will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Please register on Eventbrite.