CHANA is proud to announce the expansion of its prevention education program and the addition of a full-time youth educator, Stacy Jarvis. Stacy will take the lead in developing CHANA’s prevention education programming in middle schools, high schools and college campuses as well as develop a social media campaign directed toward this audience.
“Our advocates began seeing a sharp increase in calls for help shortly after the pandemic lockdowns were declared in 2020. This steady rise in cases of domestic violence and abuse is alarming, not only for our community, but globally as well,” says Lauren Shaivitz, CHANA’s executive director.
To confront this growing issue, CHANA is ramping up its prevention efforts to better equip individuals to protect themselves from the dangers of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and elder abuse.
“Stacy comes to us from the Macks Center for Jewish Education, where she worked to help children in K through 12th grade deepen their knowledge and understanding of Israel and its place in the global community. She has an amazing way of connecting with youth,” says Shaivitz. “She’s passionate, engaging and just the person we were looking for to fill this new role at CHANA.”
Ellen Plant, CHANA’s longtime board member and development committee chair reminds us that domestic violence is an epidemic. “About 1 in 4 adult women and 1 in 7 men in the U.S. have experienced severe physical violence from a partner in their lifetime. We know that prevention and awareness are the antidote, and that’s why CHANA’s board has made expanding our prevention program a strategic priority in 2021,” she says.
It is important to offer abuse prevention programming for individuals at every age, because abuse often looks different at each stage of life. Intimate partner violence starts early in the lifespan, with 7% of women in the U.S. first experiencing some form of partner violence before the age of 18. Among dating high school students, 21% of girls and 10% of boys report either physical violence, sexual violence or both from a dating partner, highlighting the need to educate at a young age.
Every 9 minutes, child protective services substantiates or finds evidence for a case of sexual abuse in the U.S. With rates of child sexual abuse strikingly high, CHANA has already implemented the ‘Safety Kid’ program in nine elementary level Jewish day schools across Baltimore. This program focuses on the prevention of sexual abuse with content that is appropriate for even the youngest school-aged children.
Currently, CHANA is working to expand this programming so that students at every local Jewish day school are privy to this critical information. Through CHANA’s work with elementary, middle and high schools, both public and private, and local Hillels – CHANA hopes to make a significant impact on the lives of youth in our community and decrease the disastrous consequences of abuse before they are able to take their toll.
Recognizing the importance of community outreach and education, CHANA recently created a position focused entirely on elder abuse awareness, held by elder abuse advocate and expert, Jacke Schroeder.
Elder abuse is a serious and growing public health concern, with 1 in 10 American’s age 60+ reporting having experienced some form of elder abuse, and only 1 in 24 cases ever being reported to authorities. As part of a federal grant through the Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women, over the past four years, CHANA has led the efforts to create a coordinated community response to the issue of elder abuse here in Baltimore.
CHANA works to raise awareness about elder abuse among senior serving professionals from across the community: from bank tellers and hairdressers to senior center directors and assisted living facilities, law enforcement officers, judges and many other public service agencies.
“Abuse occurs at the same rates in every community, including our own Jewish community, and we must all be aware of what we can do to protect ourselves and each other,” says Jacke Schroeder, CHANA’s Director of Elder Abuse Awareness. “CHANA’s team of advocates and prevention educators are working in tandem to create a unique, multi-faceted approach to preventing abuse, tailor made for our community.”
It is important that every single person be a part of CHANA’s work to end abuse. If you suspect someone you know is in danger of being abused or mistreated, please reach out to us. Your call is confidential and all CHANA’s services are offered free of charge.
For more information on CHANA’s prevention programs or to have an advocate speak at your school, synagogue or youth group, please contact CHANA at 410-234-0030.
For more information on our October Domestic Violence Awareness Event VOICES, please visit chanabaltimore.org/voices. There is no cost and all are invited to join us for this potentially life-saving conversation.