Posted by Elizabeth Schön Vainer, Director of Journey to Safety

Domestic Abuse is in our Community

Ruth, a religiously observant and educated woman, walked away from her comfortable home to protect her young children from her husband's physical abuse. She was overwhelmed and emotionally depleted from years of financial, verbal, and physical abuse. On her own she was physically safe, but struggled to take care of her family. She had no money and could no longer afford to pay rent. She didn't know what to do or whom to turn to for help until she learned about JF&CS Journey to Safety.

JF&CS is here to help Ruth and others like her. Journey to Safety is our response to domestic abuse in our community. Domestic abuse is a Jewish issue, and occurs in Jewish families at about the same rate as it does in families of other religions (15-25%). According to studies, Jewish women stay longer in abusive relationships - seven to fifteen years versus three to five years.

The services we provided to Ruth are the result of significant work of the entire agency. Being a program of JF&CS directly impacted how we helped Ruth and her children.

  • We secured rental assistance for Ruth, without which she and her children would have remained homeless and in a shelter.
  • Ruth received nutritious, kosher food for her children from JF&CS Family Table.
  • Her children received new backpacks filled with supplies when school started.
  • We provided a referral for specialized legal assistance.
  • And Journey to Safety continues to support Ruth with counseling, advocacy, and encouragement.

It feels great to know we are helping Ruth and others, but it's not enough. After 10 years we are reflecting on our work and the needs of our clients. We are part of a social change movement to speak out against and stop domestic abuse in the Jewish Community.

Journey to Safety Event

On October 21, Journey to Safety will be acknowledging the 10 years we have been doing this work. We are thrilled to have Marissa Miley as our featured speaker. Marissa is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, "Restless Virgins." To learn more about this event, please contact Lauren Dorn-Jones.

Elizabeth Schön Vainer is the Director of Journey to Safety, the JF&CS response to domestic abuse in our community.