Loud Fences is a grass-roots movement taking off around Australia and designed to show community support and solidarity to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is as simple as taking a loudly coloured ribbon, and tying it to a church or school fence as a sign that we won’t be silent, that the community who worships or learns there is one which remembers and stands with the survivors.
For many survivors, even driving past a church building can be anxiety-inducing. If they drive past and see hundreds of bright ribbons streaming from the fence, they can see that, in this community at least, their pain is acknowledged, they are welcome and will find people to stand by them.
I thank James Arblaster for the idea, and Colleen Easton, Principal of St Paul’s School, for joining the parish in this initiative, and for buying our starter supply of ribbons – which have been lovingly cut up by students and staff at St Paul’s. I invite you to join with all those children and adults who have been impacted by sexual abuse – by the church, by an institution, in their home, or for those who are suffering abuse right now in one of Australia’s detention centres. Take and tie a ribbon today! Beginning in Lent, as a sign of our solidarity with all victims of abuse, I invite you to tie a ribbon to one of the fences surrounding St Paul’s Church.