It is truly a privilege to be the incoming president of the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) as it enters its 13th year.
Domestic abuse is everywhere. It affects one in four women and one in nine men. Sadly, just like the rest of the country, it happens in the Jewish community — in our own backyards, houses and synagogues. Abuse is the systematic control of one person over another through intimidation, threats, insults, emotional or economic pressure, through forced isolation or physical or sexual assaults.
JCADA supports victims of domestic abuse by providing a helpline, crisis counseling, safety planning, support group and information referral services to all victims of abuse — women, men, teens and children — in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. We maintain strict confidentiality and our office location is undisclosed to ensure the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers.
JCADA has offered the community these much needed services since our inception but regretfully, the need for our services is growing and our presence in the community is increasingly necessary.
We are currently supporting 75 clients, the largest number of individuals requiring our support at one time, which brings us well past capacity. We have outgrown our current office space and desperately need to move. We have one full-time clinician, two part-time fellows and, thanks to two very generous grants from Montgomery County, we will be adding a teen clinician. We also have the support of some very wonderful donors. We are so very grateful for the financial and positive support we have received from the community.
A few years ago, we were also fortunate enough to become a partner agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. In addition, with the help of The Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, JCADA has created an outstanding prevention program entitled, It’s Not Love, from which local Jewish day schools, youth groups and summer camps have benefited.
Since its creation, JCADA has become an effective and well-respected organization and has made great strides in both educating the community and serving individual clients. In 2012, we provided 102 clients (a 200 percent increase) with domestic abuse intervention services. We furnished more than 700 hours of individual counseling sessions; 75 hours of financial planning consultations; 514 referrals; and 86 hours of support group sessions facilitated by a licensed therapist. In addition, JCADA provided education to more than 200 adult community members and healthy relationship programming to more than 800 teens, parents and educators through our teen arm, AWARE. We also became aware of a need within the community and have expanded our client base to teens, age 15 and over.
However, our job is far from done and we need your help more than ever to raise awareness about domestic abuse. We need people to talk about domestic abuse. It can’t be the dirty little secret anymore. The significant increase in numbers of people seeking our support confirms that JCADA is a necessary part of the community.
It is our responsibility to take care of our community — to teach our children what is acceptable behavior and what is not; to offer help to those that reach out for it; to educate clergy, teachers and the community at large; and to make sure that every person in the community knows, if and when you are ready to seek assistance, we will support you. We are here for you. All of JCADA’s clinical services are provided free of charge.
For more information on JCADA’s programs, clinical services and offerings, please visit www.jcada.org or contact me directly at [email protected]
Arielle Nathan Teitelbaum is president of JCADA.