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Domestic Violence

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One in four women and one in seven men will be victims of
domestic violence or abuse in their lifetimes.

Source: Centers for Disease Control, 2017

What is domestic violence? Domestic violence or abuse is a pattern of violent or coercive behavior that one uses to gain and maintain power control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, financial or sexual. More about abuse »

Who does it happen to? Anyone can be affected by domestic violence … regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, profession, education, or socioeconomic background. Abuse occurs in dating relationships, cohabitation or marriage.

What are the signs of domestic violence? It isn’t always easy to recognize domestic violence. Often, abuse develops gradually over time. Some signs are more obvious than others. If you recognize any of the signs below, or if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help available. It is not your fault and you are not alone.

Domestic Violence: How CHANA Can Help

No victim should suffer in silence.

We believe in listening to people, respecting their decisions and providing information, counseling, advocacy and referral to appropriate resources. Our immediate priorities are safety and empowerment of victims and loved ones. All services are confidential and free.

CHANA’s crisis intervention services encompass short-term immediate assistance and support for urgent safety issues. Regardless of whether someone chooses to remain in her or his home or seeks to leave, we encourage people to discuss their situation with one of our experienced, caring staff members. Together, we will evaluate the danger level and help the client devise a plan for increased safety at home, work, and in the community.

CHANA's crisis intervention services include:

  • Emotional support
  • Guidance about legal options and resources
  • Education about the dynamics of domestic violence
  • Safety planning
  • Support to help victims secure needed community resources for increased safety
  • Help to maximize financial resources
  • Shelter

Prepare for the possibility of an incident happening.

No one can control an abuser's use of violence. But, you can plan how to respond to future abusive or violent incidents. At CHANA, we work with every client to develop a safety plan to enhance safety, whether or not the client is staying in a relationship or chooses to leave. While each plan is individualized, there are factors to consider in the home, at the workplace, in the community and at every stage. Throughout, CHANA will review and update the plan as the situation evolves. For all clients, CHANA works to provide a safety plan that addresses concerns such as these:

  • Safety in the relationship
  • Keeping children safe
  • Safety in the home
  • Safety when preparing to leave
  • Safety with a protective order or other legal action
  • Safety on the job or in public
  • Finding safe people to rely upon
  • Internet and computer safety
  • Vital information to gather in advance
  • Inclusion of clergy and other professionals in the plan

Justice and healing for survivors.

Through our legal advocacy program, CHANA seeks justice and legal resolutions for survivors of domestic violence. CHANA's legal advocates provide information and support to those who have experienced domestic violence. The more educated and well-versed victims become, the more empowered they are to make informed decisions while navigating the court system. CHANA's volunteer attorneys provide legal representation as needed.

  • Legal services: Discuss the legal process; provide information to help make informed decisions; and pursue civil and criminal legal remedies.
  • Referrals: Make referrals to volunteer attorneys or private attorneys when necessary.
  • Court accompaniment: Accompany clients to court proceedings; provide legal guidance; offer support throughout the entire legal process and advocate for the client.
  • Jewish legal process: Work closely with Beit Din, the Jewish legal arbitration system.
  • Safety: Assess and monitor the safety implications of all legal options.

Begin to heal and rebuild lives.

Domestic violence victims almost always bear emotional scars as a result of the abuse. CHANA's trauma-informed counselors help clients understand the  dynamics of abuse, discuss feelings of confusion and helplessness, and create a safety plan. Victims meet with mental health professionals who listen and offer helpful tools and skills on ways to manage the difficult emotions, heal from trauma, connect to community resources and move forward with life.

Gain sense of empowerment and hope.

In a support group, participants learn about the dynamics of domestic violence, talk through their experiences, and hear stories from others who have experienced abuse in their relationships.

Support groups offer help, not only from peers (other victims) but also from the mental health professional leading the group. Group settings can be beneficial, especially for those who have been in an abusive relationship for an extended period of time, because these victims frequently become isolated from friends and family, and may not have an extensive support network. A support group is also a resource for those who are unsure of their next step, even if it involves remaining in their current relationship.

CHANA's groups are led by trauma-informed professionals. CHANA provides a range of support groups  throughout the year.

CHANA provides a variety of shelter options for victims, including a family shelter and elder shelter.

At CHANA, the role of consultation takes many forms. CHANA works with people affected directly by domestic violence and provides support to concerned family members and friends. CHANA is also a community resource and supports community organizations to address abuse within their establishments.

CHANA provides services and therapy that meet the cultural and religious needs of clients. Many members of local clergy are comfortable calling CHANA to collaborate on handling a sensitive situation within their organization. We have developed positive working relationships with local schools, camps and community organizations to collaborate on projects, develop protocols and create a sensitive and intentional plan of action when facing concerns of abuse.

As a program of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, CHANA understands the needs of the Jewish community across all denominations. CHANA offers a kosher safe house and has experience working within the Jewish arbitration process, in addition to the civil court system.

10 Warning Signs

Does your partner:

  1. Hurt you by physically hitting, pushing, kicking, shoving you?
  2. Hurt you emotionally by putting you down, insulting you, making you think you are crazy (gaslighting), humiliating you in public or inor private?
  3. Threaten to take away your children or limit your contact with them if you tell anyone?
  4. Blame you for his or her violent or abusive behaviors?
  5. Control your finances by emptying your bank account, using money as a bargaining tool, not allowing you to have a credit card or making you ask for an allowance?
  6. Prevent you from getting or keeping a job?
  7. Pressure or force you into unwanted sex or make all the decisions about your birth control?
  8. Control you by using text from religious books for emotional/sexual abuse or gain, or use other religious events to control you?
  9. Stalk you by putting spyware on your cellphone/computer or use GPS technology to follow you?
  10. Abuse your pets, including starving or threatening pets?

Abuse is Never Okay

It might start to feel normal and you might find yourself accepting the way you are being treated. You might feel intimidated or frightened by your partner. You might not want to reach out for help because you believe no one will believe you. You might be afraid of what might happen. You might be embarrassed or believe it’s your fault. Help is available.

  • You are not alone.
  • You are not to blame.
  • You do not deserve to be abused.
  • You have rights.
  • You can get help.

We are dedicated to helping people who have experienced domestic violence achieve safety and healing. Through counseling, legal advocacy, support groups and shelter, CHANA provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals and families, while educating communities as part of the movement to end domestic violence.

At CHANA, we stand with you.

“From Your Own Wounds Healing Shall Come”

-The Talmud

For Help: 410-234-0030

A Jewish Perspective

The Talmud teaches that anyone who has the ability to correct a situation and is derelict in doing so bears the responsibility for whatever results. If abuse is not acknowledged, it is tolerated. Standing by while a sin is being committed is a violation of Jewish law. Abuse is happening in our neighborhoods. We cannot stand by.

Shalom Bayit (peace in the home) is everyone’s responsibility. It includes cooperation, patience, mutual respect and understanding. Making one person responsible for the success of a relationship undermines the very nature of a relationship that is to be based on mutuality, collaboration and teamwork.

Here are some Jewish insights into the issue of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence:


Click for Quick Escape.