Jewish law expressly forbids personal violence and requires commitment to shalom bayit, a happy and peaceful family life.  Jewish men who commit domestic violence or abuse, are destroying shalom bayit and breaking Jewish law.

Classic Jewish source texts in this area include:

Do not stand idly by and see your neighbour’s blood spilled – Vayikra 19:16

A husband should love his wife as much as he does himself and should respect her even more than he respects himself – Gemara Yevamot 62b

Maintaining the dignity of a person is so great that it may override halacha – Gemara Brachot 19b

A man who strikes his wife commits a sin, just as if he were to strike anyone else -  Rama, Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 154:3

Our contemporary rabbinic leaders in the UK teach that violence against women is unacceptable, must end in the Jewish community, and that the work of JWA is crucial. 

Our patron Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis gives his support here for our work

Former Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks wrote this Dvar Torah in 2009 in support of our work

Read about our specialist support for Orthodox women

Rabbinic leaders speak out in support of our work

"It is a terrible tragedy that we live in a world where Jewish Women’s Aid is so badly needed. And yet, we need to be aware of that reality and as a community do all we can, both in word and in deed, to eradicate this terrible disease. Thank you JWA, led so impressively by Naomi Dickson, and supported by an incredible team, for all that you do to support victims of domestic and sexual violence with sensitivity, expertise and confidentiality. May Hashem grant you the strength and wisdom to continue to give that support to all who need it." Rabbi Nicky Liss, Chair of Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue

"Emotional, verbal and physical domestic abuse is dismayingly widespread. For those who suffer such cruelty, often for long years, it is extremely frightening, humiliating, isolating and painful to acknowledge. Jewish Women's Aid has the experience, sensitivity and professionalism to help. It is our duty to make JWA's services known throughout our community." Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi Masorti Movement

"I support JWA and the Board of Deputies in their efforts to address the problem of domestic violence. It is important to speak out, identify and deal with domestic violence within our community. Jewish teaching on the issue is clear, violence or harm caused by anyone to another person is forbidden, and especially in this area of conflict, not only are there physical scars but far-reaching emotional trauma as well. These are considerably more challenging to repair. The damage caused by domestic abuse is immense and deep and affects entire families. We must empathise with victims and get involved in project, such as this excellent venture by JWA and the Board of Deputies, to educate the public and assist those in need. With my heartfelt blessings." Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community

"The language of the ketubah, the Jewish wedding contract, outlines responsibilities, but also rights. Every woman has the right to peace at home. Jewish Women's Aid delivers its precious service when the contract between couples breaks down, whether within marriage or otherwise. On November 25th, please support this wonderful charity." Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Movement

"Domestic violence happens in all communities and that's why Liberal Judaism is urging support for this special Shabbat on 25 November. Don't close your eyes to domestic abuse in this area. Please support the efforts of Jewish Women's Aid." Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi, Liberal Judaism


Rabbi Abraham J. Twersky MD, The Shame Borne in Silence - Spouse Abuse in the Jewish Community. Urim Publications, revised version 2015.

Lisa Twersky - I'm so confused, am I being abused - Guidance for the Orthodox Jewish Spouse and those who want to help. Israel Bookshop Publications 2011