web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Shalom Task Force Responding to the Call of Domestic Abuse


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Share Button

Mrs. Sharon Russ, Hotline Director for Shalom Task Force, prays every day that her job will cease to exist. Alas, her prayers have yet to be answered. Over the last fifteen years, thousands of Jewish women have summoned up the courage to reach out and contact the hotline, asking for help. They rely on Shalom Task Force’s guarantee of anonymity and privacy and awareness that an Orthodox Jewish wife will often delay efforts to seek advice. This is because she is fearful of embarrassment and the potential negative consequences for her and her children. When she finally gathers the courage to face her dilemma, calling the hotline is her first step towards getting help.

The caller could be a distraught mother who believes that her married daughter is suffering from a controlling, critical husband. She wonders what can or should be done. Another call could be a young girl in her twenties, engaged to be married in just one month, who is uneasy because she heard her chassan speak to a family member in a cold, hostile way. Is this a red flag she should be paying attention to? Is he really the mensch everyone said he is? She’s been uneasy for a while now, as she’s seen this darker side of his personality emerge on several occasions. Should she break off the engagement? And if she does, will she ever get another chance? These cases are representative of the hundreds of different situations Shalom Task Force’s highly trained staff of dedicated women face on a regular basis.

STF hotline advocates take a three-hour shift once a week. They don’t take their responsibility lightly. They know that for many women, they may be the only existing lifeline. There are more than an estimated 1000 calls received each year. Many of these calls are in response to a domestic abuse situation. Additionally, the hotline provides referrals and a listening ear for personal and family concerns.

Rachel*, a dedicated volunteer, shares her experience: “One of my first calls was a woman who called Monday morning at 9:02am, right after the phones opened. It was clear she had been waiting to make the call. She said: ‘I just want you to know that Hashem blessed me with seven children. Last night, baruch Hashem, was the last sheva brachos for my youngest child. I have been married 35 years, my life has been a living hell and I have to get out of my marriage.’” Rachel, the volunteer, continues: “Many times the phone will ring and all I’ll hear is sniffling. I’ll say, ‘I’m here for you, I care about you. I’ll hold on for as long as you need.’ The woman will start sobbing because someone cares about her. I have listened to women cry for ten minutes before they start talking.”

A few years ago, the hotline began an affiliate program that has allowed them to expand beyond the NYC region. Since it is very costly to start up a new hotline and to train volunteers, other areas of the country are joining Shalom Task Force as affiliates. These cities put together a customized manual for social service, therapeutic and legal referrals in their area, and supply the New York volunteers with these manuals. If a woman in trouble calls from elsewhere she will speak to a New York volunteer who has access to referrals that are well suited to the caller’s geographic location.

Sarah* is the name the anonymous victim used when she called the hotline one Tuesday morning, after her husband had left for work and her children were safely at school. She had been summoning the courage to make this call for at least three years. Her hands trembling, her mouth as dry as the Sahara, she practically whispered the words: “I’m frightened for my children to witness what is going on, what do I do?”

Sarah called the right place. Shalom Task Force is here to help.

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Flatbush, Cedarhurst, and Crown Heights. He is a certified PAIRS instructor, and trained as a Level 1, Emotionally Focused Therapist at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and is a member of AASECT. He is the author of At Risk – Never Beyond Reach and First Aid For Jewish Marriages. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com or call 646-428-4723


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Shalom Task Force Responding to the Call of Domestic Abuse”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one – usually a parent or other caregiver – to whom the child is attached.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

I try to focus on the parents in a way that is not often addressed. As soon as the child gets anxious, the parent gets anxious;

Most people are not aware that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

Control may be the most destructive force influencing a marriage. Let me illustrate this point with the following story. About two years ago a woman named Bracha, 47, came to speak to me about her husband’s controlling behavior. This is how she described her precarious situation:

Controlling behavior may be the number one reason that your marriage needs first aid.

If you are unfamiliar with the topic of control, it’s no surprise. Most people are unaware that control is a major issue for counselors, therapists and psychologists-at-large.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/shalom-task-force-responding-to-the-call-of-domestic-abuse/2011/11/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: