No stigma

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - It has been widely ac­cepted that wit­ness­ing do­mes­tic abuse is highly dam­ag­ing to

M Stam­ler, Sal­ford M7

In last week’s re­port on Jewish Women’s Aid you stated that “anec­do­tally, Jewish women wait longer [be­fore seek­ing as­sis­tance from do­mes­tic abuse ser­vices] be­cause of stigma within the com­mu­nity and their fam­i­lies, be­cause of feel­ings of shame, and of course to pro­tect their chil­dren.” This un­for­tu­nate turn of phrase may in­ad­ver­tently dis­cour­age af­fected women from seek­ing help. Ev­ery woman wants to pro­tect her chil­dren and do what is best for them. How­ever, re­main­ing in an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship does not “pro­tect chil­dren”. chil­dren. Ac­cord­ing to the NSPCC, chil­dren ex­posed to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence are more likely to have be­havioural and emo­tional prob­lems, in­clud­ing de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, ag­gres­sion and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

What a shame the JC did not take this op­por­tu­nity to di­rectly chal­lenge the myth that it is bet­ter “for the chil­dren” for a Jewish woman to re­main in an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship. Gabrielle Joseph,

Lon­don NW8

Your timely front-page re­port on the in­crease in re­ported do­mes­tic abuse re­flects the Prime Min­is­ter’s in­ten­tion, an­nounced on the same day, to bring in new leg­is­la­tion to tackle this “life-shat­ter­ing, ab­hor­rent crime”. The statis­tics from the JWA ac­count for only a small pro­por­tion of Jewish women who are silently suf­fer­ing in an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship, of­ten with chil­dren who are vic­tims them­selves. Some women will, af­ter putting up with the abuse for years, even­tu­ally

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