Be aware. Trafficking victims are everywhere, and they often exhibit characteristics similar to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Thirty years ago, a Jewish woman experiencing domestic violence had few places to turn. Community leaders strongly resisted acknowledging violence for fear that it would harm marriages and break up families. Few services existed for women seeking support in a Jewish setting. Prior to 1994, the U.S. government did not even recognize domestic violence as a federal crime.
Jewish Women International has created a misheberach prayer to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Marcia and Norman Burnam were crossing Madison Avenue in Manhattan on their way to American Jewish Committee headquarters, where Marcia, an AJC national governor, was about to chair a meeting. She was going over the agenda in her head when her husband looked at her.
When my sister, Nina Leibman, was murdered by her husband in October 1995 in Santa Cruz, she was looking for a new beginning — struggling to end a marriage that had become unhealthy and draining, hoping to create a new family life for herself and her children, Philip and Laura. Instead, her husband made the callous and brutal decision to kill Nina — cutting short her dreams, plunging her children, her parents and sisters into a terrible nightmare of grief and depriving the world of a vibrant, intelligent, accomplished woman and all that she might have achieved.
It was worst on her birthdays. Most of the time, Olga (her name and other identifying details have been changed for her protection) could hold back her emotions, put on the blank face she knew could shut down her husband’s brutal tirades. But on special occasions, Olga couldn’t help but feel that she was entitled to a little bit of happiness.
And that’s when he pounced.
Richard is 18, has four kids under the age of 3 and is doing time at Camp David Gonzales in Malibu for probation violations after being indicted for assault with a deadly weapon.
I've never been more concerned about the victims of domestic violence than I am right now. Families already buckling under the weight of domestic violence in the best of times can collapse in times of economic downturn and war.
Lisa Kapler remembers the day her high school boyfriend deliberately bit her cheek until it bled.
At Jewish Family Service's Freedom Seder, participants read from a haggadah that was just a little bit different. Instead of reading of the four sons, those at the Freedom Seder read about the "four community members."
"The wise community member asks, 'How can we, as individuals, and a community, address domestic violence?'"
During Jewish holidays and festivals, many of us recite the familiar blessings for our loved ones.
Ruth Neal, coordinator of Ezras Bayis, has seen Orthodox womenwho have been bitten, shoved, slapped, punched, spit at, scalded withhot chicken soup, threatened with a gun, pushed down a flight ofstairs. Wood cut by Kathe Kollwitz from "German ExpressionistWoodcuts," 1994.