Sanctuary for the Abused
Friday, March 25, 2005
Make a Promise
For generations, the Jewish people have fought bravely to end injustices inflicted on us by others. But we have also remained silent about the injustice of violence we inflict on each other.
The ethical teachings of our tradition insist on certain values: B'tzelem Elokim, all human beings are created in the image of the divine; Shalom Bayit, safety and peace in the home; Tzedek, justice and accountability; Hesed and Rahamim, loving-kindness and compassion; and Teshuvah and Tikkun olam, healing and wholeness, on individual, communal and universal levels.
And yet, domestic abuse remains a very real problem in the Jewish community.
We call upon one other and all of the Jewish community to:
Replace fear with courage by acknowledging that domestic violence does exist in the Jewish community.
Hear and believe those brave survivors who come forward with their stories.
Confront, combat and prevent abuse—as a community.
Educate and train religious leaders—locally, nationally, internationally.
End violence before it starts by teaching young people what a healthy relationship is—and what it isn't.
Develop more resources that offer shelter, healing, justice and financial security to abused women everywhere.
Hold abusers accountable: They, not the victims, should bear the shame.
Assertively seek a level of funding—from federations, foundations, businesses, congregations, organizations and individuals—that is proportionate to the size of the problem.
Rally men around violence prevention programs: This is not a women's issue, it's a community issue.
Use every tool available—print media, web, education, legislation, service agencies and more—to spread awareness into every corner of the community.
When you take action against domestic violence—whether you spend a day educating clergy, volunteer in a local abuse program, or raise funds for a DV initiative that helps women around the world—you join forces with thousands of people whose combined efforts propel the movement against abuse.
Answer the question below and use it to make a personal commitment to confront abuse in the coming months and years. Then send it to JWI by mail, fax or e-mail: 2000 M Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20036; 202-857-1380 (fax); firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input will help form a global strategy to finally end domestic violence in the Jewish community.
I promise to fight domestic violence by...