Truth: Shalom bayit – domestic tranquility – is a central tenet of Judaism.
Myth: Domestic violence is not a Jewish problem.

Truth: Domestic violence is a community issue, not a private affair.
Myth: Domestic violence is rare among Jewish families.

Truth: Domestic abuse occurs in Jewish families at the same rate as in all families in our community – about 20% – regardless of religious background, levels of education and socio-economic status.

From The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for the community to come together and build awareness and a movement towards safe and healthy relationships for all individuals and families. Domestic violence touches every person in our community and society as a whole; and violates a person’s dignity, safety, and basic human rights.

Among Judaism’s most sacred teachings is the assertion that every human being is created in the image of the Divine and is, therefore, inherently worthy of respect and dignity. Domestic violence, which ranges from verbal abuse and controlling behaviors to the worst kinds of physical abuse, is a fundamental violation of Judaism’s core values.

And yet....statistics tell us that the Jewish community is, by no means, immune to the ravages wrought by domestic violence. It is, all too often, less visible within our community because of the lingering stigma attached to abuse that causes many Jewish victims to suffer in silence.

What we can do and what we must do:

Educate ourselves about the realities of domestic violence

Educate ourselves about domestic violence in the Jewish community.

Journey To Safety, part of Boston’s Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Our member, Julie Riven Jaye, has pioneered this vital effort:
“Journey to Safety's mission is to prevent domestic abuse in the Jewish community, while helping those who have been abused find a way to safety, regardless of their background or beliefs. We offer culturally competent, religiously sensitive services to survivors of domestic abuse, with specialized services for the Jewish and Russian-speaking communities. Information, support, referrals, and other resources are available for all domestic abuse survivors, including teens, seniors, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community.”

Support efforts here on Cape Cod to address domestic violence and support its victims:
Independence House, Inc., is a private, nonprofit organization, established in 1979 to serve the needs of survivors of domestic violence and their children.

October is the month to stand up, speak up and proudly wear purple, the color of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Reb Elias