Violence against Women Condemned

November 25, 2010 Agencies
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Today is White Ribbon Day – a Government sponsored initiative in which wearers of the white ribbon indicate they do not condone violence against women. The Jewish community does not remain silent on the issue.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria president John Searle issued this statement

John Searle

“Violence in Victorian society constitutes a problem for all of its members, but it is largely women who bear its brunt.  The statistics are shocking: one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence, and almost as many have experienced violence of a sexual nature.  The effects of such acts are horrendous, scarring not only its victims psychologically and physically, but also those who witness its occurrence.  And indeed the perpetrators are themselves damaged by their own brutality.

Unfortunately there are too many members of the Victorian Jewish community who have come to believe its myths.  They see our shtetl as immune to the mistreatment of its women and children, just as they avert their eyes from those of our young who abuse themselves with drugs and alcohol.

Professor John Eisman pic: Henry Benjamin

Thankfully there are those in our community who see beyond this idealisation.  Organisations such as the Jewish Taskforce against Domestic Violence, Jewish Care, Wings of Care and others provide aid for the victims of this fantasy, just as the JCCV’s Youth Alcohol Project seeks to provide answers to the substance abuse issues affecting Victorian Jewry.

Professor Gordian Fulde

It is inherent in our faith and tradition that we must protect the vulnerable and care for those persons who cannot help themselves. To remain silent is to be culpable. Hence on this day we jointly raise our voices against violence, particularly that directed at women, in all its physical and psychological manifestations.”

Meanwhile in Sydney about 200 business men breakfasted in Rushcutters Bay and heard Professor Gordian Fulde talk about and graphically show some of the experiences he has encountered as head of the Emergency Section of St Vincent’s Hospital. JewishCare White Ribbon Day patron, Professor John Eisman told the meeting that one in every five families experienced violence against women…and that the Jewish community was in line with the national figures. He said that the figures stayed true no matter the socio-economic group or religious status. JewishCare Executive Officer Warren Hurst told J-Wire: “Our Domestic Violence program has been running for a few years and there are a consistent number of around thrity participating at any given time. Each month, 2-3 newcomers enter the program.”


One Response to “Violence against Women Condemned”
  1. Tanya Arons says:

    As a victim of both Domestic Violence and sexual abuse both as a child and as an adult woman, I commend your endorsement of White Ribbon Day in Victoria. I wish to G-d I could have seen the same efforts here in Queensland. I have personally written to one of our esteemed Rabbis, our Board and the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, asking for a new programme I believe has been piloted in Melbourne called “Darkness to Light” which assists Adults and their families in helping deal with Child Sexual Abuse and its repercussions into adulthood and offer programmes for education on this ugly but nevertheless, important and widespread social disease.

    I am thoroughly angered, disappointed and sickened that neither party nor organisation I wrote to about this important issue which affects thousands of children and adult child survivors in our community, and the wider community, has bothered even to reply or follow up with a message of support or given me any indication of whether they were interested or willing to assist OUR Children.

    Women and children bear the brunt of ignorance and denial perpetrated by Men, and some women, ie Paedophiles and Paediphile by Proxy ( a term I invented to describe people who turn away, refuse to acknowledge or assist victims of child sexual abuse). I feel I have personally been scapegoated for speaking out on this issue and of course this will persist long into the future.

    So if anyone truly cares about the mental health and wellbeing of women and children, let’s not scapegoat genuine survivors and brush the whole ugly matter under the carpet. The buck literally starts with each individual to do their utmost to protect, and speak out and get help for those unable to help themselves.

    To those of you, who ignore my genuine plea to support victims of abuse in all aspects of society but in particular that involving innocent children. All I can say is Shame Shame Shame.

    Don’t just play lip service and wear a pretty White Ribbon….bloody take action NOW.

    Tanya Arons

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