Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

April 24, 1992 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-04-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Beyond The Stigma Of Abuse

Behind suburbia's locked doors, along
streets with passive sounding names like
Elm and Maple, a festering problem
sometimes manifests itself. It comes with
an insult or the bruise resulting from the
back of a hand.
But Jews don't beat their wives. And
Jews don't knock their little children to the
floor. Just ask your friends. Or better yet,
ask yourself if you are a participant in
family violence.
Worse yet, are you the victim of the
stigma that many of us place on ourselves?
You know how it goes. Jews are too well-
educated to hit their kids. Jewish husbands
are too caring and gentle to blacken their
wives' eyes.
Think again.
There's an Alcoholics Anonymous
meeting at a temple in an East Coast city.
Attending the meeting, however, are
precious few Jews. Everyone in the temple
meeting room is a gentile. The Jews are all
at meetings in non-Jewish neighborhoods.
For generations, some of us have lived
with secrets. It's time to bring those secrets
out in the open. It's time for families that
experience violence to seek help and to not
worry about the stigma that we Jews seem
to be so good at tagging to our shandes.
There's hope for families when the silence

is broken.
Jewish Family Service studies show that
10 to 20 percent of Jewish families are suf-
fering from family violence. Detroit's Jew-
ish community, great as it is, is not exclud-
ed from these numbers.
But the real greatness is evidenced in
this community's willingness to do some-
thing for the families and about the prob-
lem. Detroit's Jewish Family Service and
the National Council of Jewish Women are
working together on a shelter, an
emergency apartment that would provide
an environment for a battered person to
begin the healing process.
For all of their lives, we've been telling
Jews that as a community we'd be there for
them. We need to come out from beyond the
stigma and begin helping and supporting
what JFS and NCJW want to do.
It doesn't take any courage or strength to
hurt your spouse or child. You're not a real
man if you beat up your wife. Real strength
is admitting there's a problem and seeking
help, no matter who knows. A real man can
work his way back to earning the trust of
those who want to love him.
JFS and NCJW need to pass that
strength along to the victims and to the
families. It's our strength they need, and
it's our strength they should have.

Not Everyone's A Rascal

One hopes there is more to being a voter
this year than just indulging in one simple,
indiscriminate reflex: "Throw the rascals
Not every incumbent is a rascal and not
every incumbent should be sent back
home, his tail between his legs and his face
red with shame. And not every member of
the House of Representatives, for instance,
who wrote a bad check from the House
bank, is necessarily a bad guy who came to
Washington only to drink from the well of
congressional privilege.
For instance, Vin Weber, R-Minn., who is
retiring from Congress because he wrote
125 bad checks, was well-respected by
Republicans and Democrats; Stephen







FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 1992

Solarz, D-N.Y., who, with 743 bounced
checks to his name, may yet announce
his retirement, is one of the most impor-
tant members of the House on foreign
policy matters. Both men solidly support
Israel, and both do so with great intel-
ligence and skill.

Bad checks should not be the ultimate
litmus test for reelection this year. There
are a galaxy of other issues — real issues —
that deserve attention: ending the reces-
sion and creating jobs; shrinking the fed-
eral debt; planning for a post-Cold War era;
reforming health care; rescuing the
underclass. To be sidetracked by check
writing is to be buffaloed by a non-scandal.


Neg... ""•••■■




Family Violence
Shelter Is Needed

I am distressed about the
article, "Need For Jewish
Shelter Debated by Alex-
ander," in the April 10 Jewish
News. I submit this letter to
limit the possibility that
there will be any confusion
about the need for a Jewish
shelter for battered Jewish
During the past four years
Jewish Family Service has
developed a highly successful
and effective non-sectarian
demonstration program
which has become a model in
the field of child abuse
prevention. Our orientation
has been preventive in
nature. We attempt to stop all
forms of abuse behavior
which are occurring at the
time and prevent future
recurrences before the
physical and emotional harm
done to the child and family
lead to permanent damage.
Having identified a popula-
tion which is seriously at
risk, Jewish Family Service
has recognized the need to ad-
dress the issue of child abuse
from a broader • perspective.
Child abuse is invariably a
function of a variety of other
abusive behaviors occurring
in the home. With a broader
focus on domestic violence
prevention, we would help to
create a safer and less volatile
environment for children and
their parents.
Wife abuse is a well-hidden
social problem. Few suspect
or acknowledge that this type
of family violence exists in
their own community, but it
does. Wife battering knows no
geographic, ethnic, nor
economic boundaries. It has
been reported that violence in
Jewish families is as
prevalent as in the general
population but it is the reluc-

tance of Jewish victims to
speak out that creates the
myth that it is absent from
the Jewish community.
Many of these battered
women remain silent fearing
that they have no alter-
natives or are too embarrass-
ed to damage the reputation
of their family and
Studies conducted within
Jewish family service agen-
cies in New York and Los
Angeles revealed that family
violence occurs in approx-
imately 10-20 percent of
Jewish families and that close
to one-third of family violence
is spouse abuse. Through our
child abuse prevention pro-
gram, the need for this pro-
gram has become glaringly
The acknowledgement and
treatment of spouse abuse by
a Jewish agency gives permis-
sion to the individual woman
and the community to "break
the silence!' In addition, the
Jewish women for whom
kashrut is an important con-
sideration are now being
The need for the shelter has
become apparent from a
variety of sources including
clients already in treatment
in our Child Abuse Preven-
tion Program, and the agen-
cy as a whole. During the past
two months there have been
four women who have active-
ly discussed the possibility of
leaving abusive households
for whom this shelter would
have been suitable.
Jewish Family Service and
National Council of Jewish
Women envision this shelter
as an emergency apartment
that would provide a secure
supportive environment in
which the battered woman
could have time to begin to

Continued on Page 10

Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan