Pope denounces violence against women, demands protection

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is denouncing the verbal, physical, psychological and sexual violence women endure and is demanding greater protections and attention for them. Francis dedicated his February prayer intentions to women victims of violence, and said those who commit such abuses are cowards.  He said: “It’s shocking how many women are beaten, insulted, and raped. The various forms of ill-treatment that many women suffer are acts of cowardice and a degradation of all humanity. Of men and of all humanity.” He praised those women who “dare to break their silence” to seek help and said the church cannot look away. The statements were made in a video prayer message released Monday.