Recent local news reports reminded us of the grave impact domestic abuse can have not just on a family but on the wider community. The costs were devastating as people lost their lives, witnesses were traumatized, law enforcement resources were stretched, and schools and businesses went into lock down as others feared for their lives.
Did you know that every time a rabbi speaks from the bimah, a victim or a loved one comes forward to seek help?
Domestic abuse affects us all and it is happening to people we know - our coworkers, our neighbors, our families and our friends. Several weeks ago, we asked Rabbis to use their Mother's Day Shabbat sermons as opportunities to raise their voices to bring attention to the issue of domestic abuse and help those experiencing it find support. A number of rabbis spoke from the pulpit about its prevalence in our community. Rabbi Rain Zohav of the Interfaith Families Project of Greater Washington, D.C. responded to our request with a Washington Jewish Week editorial, where she wrote:
It is part of our responsibility as a community to protect the lives of our members by doing all that we can to address issues of domestic abuse and to assist those who are suffering any kind of domestic abuse.
Now we invite you to choose one way to raise your voice whether it is in a public setting, such as speaking to an audience as rabbis did on a Shabbat, or around your dinner table or on social media. Let's create a chorus of voices letting people experiencing domestic abuse know that they are not alone, we believe them and we are here to help. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or dating abuse, please contact JCADA for support on our confidential helpline: 1-877-88-JCADA (52232).