Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in the US experience rape, physical abuse, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime1 and Jewish women tend to stay in abusive relationships five to seven years longer than non-Jewish women.2 In addition, approximately 9% of Massachusetts high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or a girlfriend.3
Domestic abuse survivors often face a web of complex and challenging issues, particularly when deciding whether or when to leave an abusive relationship. JTS staff can help friends, family, and coworkers figure out how to best support survivors as they navigate an often difficult and confusing set of decisions and circumstances.
We also speak with clergy, attorneys, therapists, and many other community professionals to help them consider how they might provide the best services, support, and referrals to people who have been – or currently are being – abused.
Domestic abuse happens at roughly the same rate in the Jewish community as in the general population. It crosses demographic lines – geographic, denominational (Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Humanist, etc.), and cultural.
While the myth that domestic abuse doesn’t happen in the Jewish community might continue as an idealized cultural stereotype, the reality for some people in our community is quite different. Denial and silence in the Jewish community allow abuse to continue and create barriers to survivors finding help. Journey to Safety reaches out specifically to the Jewish community with the goals of raising awareness and giving people the information they need to recognize abusive behavior and know how to respond if they see it.
Each December, as part of the Many Voices, One Message campaign, rabbis and cantors from different denominations in Massachusetts join together to condemn domestic abuse in the Jewish community. See this year's statement.
This program is supported by MOVA through a 1984 VOCA grant from the OVC, OJP, US Department of Justice.
For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.
This program is funded in part by CJP.
1The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, December 2011
Project Sarah, Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012