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“JWA literally saved my life, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”


This is Alison’s* story (not her real name), that she wanted us to share with you.

“I’m 27 and my children are now three and five. My husband started being verbally and emotionally abusive towards me, telling me I was worthless and unemployable soon after my older son was born. With time, things escalated. He started to throw things at me even when I was holding the children, and sometimes he even slapped them. There were never-ending mind games which left me confused and hurt.

It was impacting on my parenting, and a friend suggested I call Jewish Women’s Aid. I remember that first call, when I told the JWA helpline volunteer ‘things aren’t quite right in my marriage’. They told me that, like many of the women they support, I was minimising what was going on. I met with one of JWA support workers and it wasn’t until then that I felt validated and came to understand that what I had been denying was true – I was being abused and my children were witnessing it.

JWA gave me the confidence to change. I decided I was going to have to leave him, as I felt increasingly unsafe. I was worried about my children. JWA found me legal advice, helping me get legal aid with the aim of moving my husband out of the property so that the children and I could return to live there safely. My support worker helped me to plan everything: clothes, toiletries for me and the children, important documents and more.

Then there was a sudden escalation in my husbands’ abusive behaviour: he pushed me hard against the wall. I was terrified. At very short notice JWA helped me move to a hotel for Shabbat. They organised kosher food, challot, toiletries and kids’ toys. A taxi collected us, and took us to a hotel. We felt safe there.

After that first weekend, JWA helped me find safe housing. I now live independently with my kids, and am proud of the steps I’ve taken to get to this point.  I benefit greatly from JWA’s free counselling which helps me understand the abuse I experienced, and helps me heal. I’ve joined the JWA therapeutic group where I gain support and friendship from other women in a similar position. It’s incredibly empowering. My husband is hopefully moving out of the house soon, then I will move back to live safely with my children. JWA literally saved my life, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

To help Alison and hundreds of women like her, we need you to open your eyes to domestic violence and abuse in the Jewish community.

Jewish Women’s Aid is the only specialist Jewish organisation in the UK which supports Jewish women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse. Please help us to help them, by continuing to support vulnerable women and children by making a gift to this year’s appeal. You can donate here.

Don’t shut your eyes. It is real, and it happens to women you know. We are here to help.

Thank you for your support.

Naomi (without surname)

 Naomi Dickson – Chief Executive