Jewish Women’s Aid Shabbat is taking place across the UK this Saturday (21 November 2020) and it is vital that Liberal Judaism and our congregations use this opportunity to raise the issue of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the Jewish community.
This can be a difficult topic to talk about and hear about, which is why this Shabbat is so important.
As part of the international 16 Days of Activism to counter violence against women, JWA has launched #AMaskWontProtectHer to draw attention to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse in the Jewish community. In light of the second coronavirus lockdown happening now, this campaign could not be more relevant.
Domestic abuse can take many different forms. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or spiritual and the central theme is control. It is mainly perpetrated by men against women but it can happen to anyone.
One in four women will experience domestic abuse and one in five will experience sexual violence. Jewish Women’s Aid has been supporting women for 30 years and has not seen a lower prevalence in the Jewish community. Their research also shows that Jewish women take longer to come forward.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on domestic abuse nationally, but also in our Jewish community. Every month since April, JWA has supported higher numbers of women compared to the previous year, and they are seeing an escalation of violence and trauma, not just among women but their children too.
Our movement is proud to support Jewish Women’s Aid Shabbat. Recording a special video message (above), Liberal Judaism interim director Rabbi Charley Baginsky said: “We will raise our voices in ensuring that there is no safe space for violence against women and, with one voice, we will commit to building an environment that is open and receptive to women seeking support.
“We at Liberal Judaism are grateful for the dedication and hard work of the staff and volunteers of Jewish Women’s Aid. We will work with them to help achieve their vision of a world without violence against women and girls.”
For confidential support from Jewish Women’s Aid, you can contact:
Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 801 0500 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Dina Sexual Violence Support Line: 0808 801 0656 / email@example.com
Web Chat Support Service: www.jwa.org.uk
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