In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, JF&CS Journey to Safety is hosting a blog series this October, bringing five different voices and perspectives to the conversation about domestic abuse in the Jewish community. We look forward to your feedback and comments. Please forward these blogs to others to assist us in our mission to raise awareness about domestic abuse.

Posted by Julie Riven Jaye

created at: 2012-10-04As I prepare to step down as Chairperson of the JF&CS Journey to Safety Advisory Committee, I’ve been reflecting back on what it took to launch a domestic violence program for the Jewish community.  What began as a project for a self- expression workshop became a full-fledged, well-respected program with a director, two domestic abuse advocates, an outreach and program coordinator, a teen educator, and a strong advisory committee!

Here’s a bit about the story of how Journey to Safety came to be:

About fourteen years ago I reflected on my good fortune in life and felt grateful to be in a happy and healthy second marriage. Feeling strong and full of conviction to help others, I responded to an observation that the Jewish community was resistant to the fact that domestic violence happened in our backyard. At the time, the prevailing myth was that it wasn’t possible for a Jewish man to be an alcoholic or, worse yet, an abuser. I met others who shared their concern with this view, and they inspired me to become an advocate. I knew I needed to work with others to call attention to the lack of culturally sensitive services for Jewish women. Challenging, but not impossible!

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