Rabbis urge congregations not to ‘close their eyes’ to domestic violence

Rabbis urge congregations not to ‘close their eyes’ to domestic violence

JWA, the Board of Deputies and synagogue movements join together to tackle violence against women

Rabbis are set to tell members not to “close their eyes” to domestic violence this Shabbat, in a major communal awareness-raising campaign.

Jewish Women’s Aid, the Board of Deputies and the synagogue movements have joined forces to push for change closer to home in a message timed to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

JWA chief executive Naomi Dickson said the community had “come together to make a clear statement, supporting women affected by domestic violence and abuse… I hope women continue to contact us for support whenever they need it”.

Board president Jonathan Arkush said: “Our eyes must be open to the scale and severity of abuse committed in the home and we have to ensure that any person who falls victim to it knows where to look for help.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said this week: “There is no place for violence in our homes, where every person has a right to feel safe and protected. It is our duty to wipe out every last trace of it. I urge everyone to take a stand against the scourge of domestic violence.”

Praising JWA, Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “The language of the ketubah, the Jewish wedding contract, outlines responsibilities, but also rights. Every woman has the right to peace at home.”

Senior Masorti Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg said: “Emotional, verbal and physical domestic abuse is dismayingly widespread. For those who suffer such cruelty, often for long years, it is extremely frightening, humiliating, isolating and painful to acknowledge. JWA has the experience, sensitivity and professionalism to help.”

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi of Liberal Judaism, added: “Domestic violence happens in all communities and that’s why Liberal Judaism is urging support for this special Shabbat on 25th November. Don’t close your eyes to domestic abuse in this area. Please support the efforts of Jewish Women’s Aid.”

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