Responding to overtures from the presbyteries of Elizabeth and Cincinnati, the 196th General Assembly (1984) adopted a resolution on pornography that mandated the Council on Women and the Church (COWAC) and the General Assembly Mission Board (Office of Women) to "persevere in their work in the areas of pornography and obscenity and the education of the church and society to combat the abusive treatment of women."
Taking action to provide the budget necessary for this study in both 1985 and 1986, the 198th General Assembly (1986) directed the Council on Women and the Church and the Committee on Women’s Concerns to complete the work approved in 1984. In addition, the 1985 action directed the two women’s advocacy groups as follows:
These actions were consistent with the work done by the women’s advocacy groups since their establishment in 1972 in the PCUS and in 1973 in the UPCUSA. Previous General Assemblies had assigned studies on rape and battering, reported in 1978, on sexual harassment (1982), and on sexual exploitation of women (1986).