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As Thought Leaders it is our responsibility to turn ideas into reality. Together we can raise awareness surrounding Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this October.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.

Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can end domestic violence.
The Continuing Saga of a JCS South Florida Shalom Bayit Client
Laura came to JCS Shalom Bayit, the domestic abuse program of Jewish Community Services of South Florida, in desperation.  She had arrived in Miami two years earlier with her husband and a baby.  All her "friends" were her husband's, so when she could not take the violence and unrelenting emotional threats from him any longer, she found herself alone.
JCS south florida
As Laura fell deeper and deeper into a black hole of hopelessness, her case manager tried to find a pro bono attorney to represent her in court to gain a divorce.  Until now, her abuser had been smart enough to make it appear as if he were the victim.  Not only did he know how to present himself in a positive light within both the legal and religious community, he denied her and their child the financial support she needed.  Laura, an immigrant, did not understand the American judicial system.  With no money, no support, no skills, no job, no legal status and no one to count on, Laura clung to the hope and support from her case manager. Continue reading here.

The photo of JFCS Minneapolis' staff participating appeared on the JFCS Minneapolis Facebook page.
Family & Children's Services of Minneapolis is observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

A series of emails were sent to staff in an effort to raise awareness.

The first email  explained facts surrounding domestic violence. 

The second email shared talking points on the subject.
Advocacy Thought Piece
Part I:
Intimate Partner Violence Presents Special Mental Health Concerns
With one in four women affected by intimate partner violence (IPV), we all know someone who may have been in this situation, whether we realize it or not. IPV occurs in every culture, country, and age sector and does not spare any class of people. It affects all socioeconomic groups and people of all religious backgrounds and occurs in same-sex and heterosexual relationships. It can occur, regardless of how long the couple has been in a relationship or how financially successful one or both partners are. It can happen to partners who are dating, married, living together, or are estranged.  Bottom line-IPV could happen to anyone! Continue reading here.
Jewish Family & Children's Services of Boston has many campaigns running to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month both internally and externally. 
  • Love Should Be Safe Campaign - A poster is mailed out with a letter that explains the purpose, and a summary of the program, including a few specific resources (e.g. the JWI Clergy Misheberach for survivors)
  • Payroll Stuffer - A form is sent to all staff including language that indicates one can receive confidential services and/or consultation.
  • Annual "Lunch 'N Learn" - This year's lunch focused on the gender aspects of domestic abuse.
  • Purple Ribbons - Ribbons are made available to everyone who enters the building with a display poster explaining awareness month.
  • #JTSSharePurple - (Brand New this Year) A cultivation event (friend-raiser) cocktail party featuring a social media expert who provides guidance on using Face Book to be a social change ambassador. Participants are encouraged to bring their smartphones and update their profiles (see below).
    • Text for status on Facebook:
      October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As a JF&CS Journey to Safety ambassador, I am proud to share this purple ribbon this month to show my support. #DVAM #JTSSharePurple
 Check out AJFCA's Domestic Violence Professionals Facebook page to see what member agencies are doing to raise awareness surrounding Domestic Violence among their staff and with in their communities. 
AJFCA will publish thought pieces from our Network relating to
Domestic Violence
throughout the month of October.
Contact Megan to submit material.