- Domestic Violence Prevention
Kendall was in an abusive marriage for 15 years. She often thought of leaving but didn’t know how she would provide for three children when her husband had never allowed her to work. Ultimately, her husband became violent with her oldest son, and Kendall fled with her children quickly. Faced with having to protect her kids and find a job to support them, Kendall didn’t know where to turn until a local homeless shelter connected her with JFCS.
While many factors contribute to abuse in families, the continuing pandemic has brought lockdown entrapment and economic insecurities that have sharply increased the stress on survivors of Domestic Violence (DV). Many survivors, like Kendall, have spent years isolated by their abusers and kept out of the workforce. In the Bay Area, where rents can be as much as twice the national average, DV survivors struggle even more greatly to financially provide for their children while also creating a safe, nurturing home where everyone can heal.
“Survivors escaping abusive partners need healthy support systems which acknowledge the impact of their painful experiences, and assist them as they work toward self-sufficiency,” says Susan Carroll, Director of Family Support Services and the Dream Program at JFCS.
It has been a year since Kendall left her abuser. Through JFCS’ Dream Program, Kendall received help with food, financial assistance, finding safe housing, and trauma-informed counseling for herself and her kids. With help from JFCS, Kendall is now beginning an educational program in graphic design to pursue a higher salary and her dream career. The family still faces challenges every day but is relieved to be on a healing path towards self-sufficiency.
“We never would have made it to this point without JFCS’ help,” Kendall says. “I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for us.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
We all remember how it felt to be isolated during COVID-19 lockdowns—and what we may not realize is that victims of DV experience such isolation every day. During this DV Awareness Month, we all can build our understanding of the challenges that survivors face so that we can help ourselves and our neighbors.
Susan says, “If you know someone in an abusive relationship, it’s easy to say the wrong thing—even when you want to help. The best thing to do is to seek professional resources to help you support them in the most sensitive way.”
If you know someone who may be experiencing Domestic Violence, call JFCS at 415-449-1212 to receive professional advice on how to guide them towards help and support.