By Elaine Storkey and Jasmine Obeyesekere Fernando

Elaine Storkey on Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women

Did you know that, globally, “acts of violence towards women and girls between the ages of fifteen and forty-four cause more deaths, disability and mutilation than cancer, malaria and traffic accidents combined?”

Dr. Storkey alludes to her own journey of discovering the nature and extent of violence against women and coming to the shocking realization that women are vulnerable to violence during their entire life — and that violence is not limited to one period. 

Scars Across Humanity was motivated by Elaine seeing the high incidence of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo. The chilling logic behind this? It was “cheaper than bullets to exterminate the people you’re trying to annihilate.”

From insight rich with first-hand experiences gained from her extensive travel, Dr. Storkey compassionately demonstrates what gender-based violence looks like on the bruised bodies of real girls and women around the world. She talks about selective abortion and female infanticide, female genital mutilation, child marriage, honor killings, rape, domestic violence, prostitution and trafficking, and war and sexual violence.

She brilliantly deals with the question “Why? Why is there violence against women?” from discussing ideas of ownership of female bodies to the role of religion. She offers stories of hope as women work alongside men to bring structural and personal change to rid our world of gender-based violence, “perhaps the most widespread and socially tolerated human rights violation.”    

Dr. Storkey is a sociologist, philosopher and theologian who has held multiple university positions. She succeeded John Stott as the Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. She served as the President of the UK aid and development agency Tear Fund for 17 years. She was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Kuyper Prize from Princeton Theological Seminary for excellence in reformed theology and public life.

Scars Across Humanity was awarded the 2019 book of the year on politics and public life by Christianity Today.

Listen in as WAP Associate Jasmine Obeyesekere interviews Dr. Elaine Storkey about her book Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women (IVP 2018) as the finale of the WAP Winter Book Club. 

You can listen on iTunes or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

 

About the Author

Dr. Storkey is a sociologist, philosopher and theologian who has held multiple university positions. She succeeded John Stott as the Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. She served as the President of the UK aid and development agency Tear Fund for 17 years. She was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Kuyper Prize from Princeton Theological Seminary for excellence in reformed theology and public life.

Jasmine is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she worked for the IFES affiliated Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS) as a national staff worker, briefly as Acting General Secretary and recently as a Board member. She also worked for the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University. Jasmine’s InterVarsity involvement includes leading the Graduate Christian Fellowship at Syracuse University and chapter planting as a volunteer staffworker at SUNY Albany for GFM. She presently volunteers as Staff Development Specialist to South Asian American Ministries. Jasmine has written for The Well and for Mutuality Magazine. She is married to Guy and is mom to Jayathri and Yannik. Jasmine is a WAP Associate focusing on special projects.

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