Awareness, Understanding, and Support – A JFCS Statement on Domestic Violence
While JFCS has been immersed in the advocacy of victims of domestic violence for many years, in light of recent events and confusion spawned in the media regarding domestic violence, JFCS would like to reiterate its position of support for any person who is abused, feels threatened with abuse, or knows of someone who is being abused. Call centers all over the United States are seeing a sharp increase in women and men reaching out for help this week. If you need help, please call 856-424-1333, and ask for SARAH.
Project SARAH was established to assist any person dealing with domestic violence – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. The program was developed to offer support services to victims and their families, and to raise awareness in our community about the effects and issues surrounding domestic violence.
Hilary Platt, JFCS Project SARAH program says, “It is important to know the average abuse victim takes 3-5 years to leave an abusive relationship and often flees 7-10 times before leaving for good. Education and awareness are needed more than ever. We, as a community, need to understand why it is not easy for victims to leave.”
Here are some explanations as to why a victim stays with an abuser/ tolerates abuse:
• A victim can still love their abuser and stays because they hope the person they fell in love with will once again re-emerge. Often times, after the abuse has occurred, the abuser shows remorse and there is a “honeymoon” period in the relationship. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last
• Shame and embarrassment and secrecy can keep a victim in an abusive situation
• Fear is a huge motivating factor. A victim could be in fear of their physical being, in fear of no one believing them, in fear of their loved ones safety, if threatened. Fearing that no one will believe them.
“The more we know about abuse, the more support and resources we can give victims. The more our youth knows about abuse, the more we can educate them on the red flags of an unhealthy relationship and ways to overcome abusive relationships,” says Platt.
Project SARAH Program offers: Individual, Family and Child Counseling, Three Food Pantries in Camden and Burlington Counties, Emergency Financial Aid, Legal, Accounting referrals, Building Healthy Relationships Seminars for Young Adults, A Live Listener-Participation Radio Program, Outreach Awareness Programs at Local Synagogues and Organizations, and Charlotte’s Place Emergency Housing (Based on Availability). Additionally, the program will host an evening with Tanya Brown (sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson) on October 28, 2014, at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill. Tanya will discuss domestic abuse, its effects on family members, and the warning signs of an abusive relationship. For information on that event, visit here.