Think abuse isn’t a problem in Jewish communities? It is, and you can help end it! Check out these program ideas to raise awareness about dating and domestic abuse, and help those affected by abuse.
Dating Abuse Isn’t Kosher!
Did you know that 1 in 3 young adults report abuse in a relationship? Help raise awareness and end abuse with our program When Push Comes to Shove…It’s No Longer Love!
National Library Initiative
JWI creates children’s libraries in battered women’s shelters all over the country – safe, quiet spaces filled with new books and furniture where children affected by violence can read, study and grow. There may be a JWI library in your area where you can read to children staying in the shelter. If there isn’t one near you, get together a group of students and start raising money for a local library of your own!
Many battered women’s shelters are in secret locations and volunteering on-site is not an option, so contact a local shelter and see if there are items – think comfort and personal care -- that you can collect for them. Set up boxes in common areas and dorms to collect these items and then spend a night putting together shelter care packages. Provide some munchies for your volunteers and you’ll be set!
Day of Silence
Too often, victims of abuse are silenced by those unwilling to admit that abuse is a problem. Organize a group of students and print shirts or make signs that read, “Ask me why I’m not speaking today.” Print up these cards that have information about dating abuse and silencing victims to hand out when people ask you.
Knowledge is Power
Most people don’t even know what dating abuse looks like, or how many young women and men it affects. This palm card has information about abuse on the front and emergency numbers listed on the back. Make copies and pass it out in common areas; if you're in college, post them in campus dorms and make sure every RA gets one.
Lunch & Learn
You can learn a lot from Jewish texts about relationships. Learn how mutual respect and consent are discussed in these Jewish texts, and glean lessons from some ways our community has not effectively responded to abuse in the past.
Speaker or Panel Discussion
Want to help people learn about dating abuse? If you're in high school, talk to your administration about having a speaker talk about dating abuse in health class. If you're in college, invite a speaker or put together a panel that can include a staff member from your university’s health center, women’s center or residential life center, a social work or psychology professor, law enforcement personnel, and university administrators. Invite them to address dating abuse, its effects on both victims and friends, the impact of abuse on a campus community, and how you can help.
North Carolina Hillel organized a program in 2004 handing out rape whistles; attached to each whistle was a card with important safety phone numbers on one side and Dinah’s story on the other. The program was so successful that the university took it on as a campus-wide program!
End Abuse Now!
Organize a dance, concert or battle of the bands, donating the proceeds of ticket sales to a local shelter. You can also ask that in addition to buying a ticket, people bring something to donate to the shelter. (Contact the shelter in advance to find out what they could use.)