We care about you. Through the Jewish Federation's various agencies, we have an incredible network of support for those in need in South Jersey and around the world.
This week, we want to share with you just one story of how we care as a Federation system from Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service (JFCS). The JFCS domestic abuse program, Project SARAH (Stop Abusive Relationships At Home), provides multi-faceted services, which include counseling, support groups, resource information, and other forms of assistance to support individuals who are victims of domestic abuse and their families.
Climbing up from despair
"Is this really going to be the last time, Mommy?" Carole's daughter Mia asked as they placed duffel bags in the back seat and got into the car. It was 11:30 at night. Carole took one last look at the house she had lived in for nearly 13 years. Holding her daughter's face in her hands, she said, "I promise, we are leaving. And we're not coming back."
This time, even Carole believed her own words. The beatings, the screaming, the constant, terrifying state of never knowing who - Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde - would walk through the door: it had to end. She was finally getting out. The nights she slept with her sneakers on, in case she was going to make a run for it. The days she sat and contemplated divorce - but felt as if fear had cemented her feet to the kitchen floor. The guilt that welled up inside of her every time Mia would run to her side, thinking she could help save her from those bad nights of yelling and sounds of things breaking on the floor.
For the first time in their lives, Carole and Mia were on a road toward a new life.
For Carole, the end of violence couldn't come soon enough. The last incident led her to the emergency room with a broken arm. With Mia on her mind, she reached out to JFCS to ask what her options were. With no access to the financial accounts at her home, or family members willing to get involved, she felt she had no options. But the Project SARAH Program at JFCS was able to connect Carole with an attorney who helped her navigate the legal system, get a counselor for her and her daughter to begin the healing process, and a free cell phone so that she could call loved ones and make plans for her future, safely and securely.
Smiles should come just a bit easier for her and Mia now...
We would like to believe that this is an isolated case, but we know that it is unfortunately not. For anyone suffering, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey is here for you.
All client names have been changed to protect their privacy.