25 October 2023

Our staff, volunteers and the Board of Trustees at Jewish Women’s Aid are devastated by the recent atrocities committed by Hamas and the war in Israel. We join our community in mourning the loss of so many innocent lives and call on the government to help secure the safe return of the hostages.  

Since the horrific attack on Jewish civilians in Israel on October 7th, we have heard harrowing reports of acts of sexual violence and rape of Israeli women and girls by Hamas. We strongly condemn all forms of sexual violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war. Sexual violence against women during armed conflict is a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Such acts have a permanent impact on survivors and damaging psychological effects on women, particularly women who are victim-survivors of sexual violence.

As an organisation that works tirelessly to protect women from abuse and violence, the appalling crimes committed against innocent women and girls are having a detrimental effect on the women we support, as well as our helpline volunteers, our advocates, and therapists who are directly supporting our clients. The public silence from many UK domestic/sexual abuse sector organisations further impacts the isolation and fear our clients are experiencing.

At Jewish Women’s Aid, we support Jewish women and girls who are victims of sexual violence and abuse, and we believe in a world without violence against women. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these traumatic reports, we stand together with you in grief and horror. 

Caroline Ratner, Chair of Trustees