Mirvis backs fight against abuse

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has urged UK Jewry to take responsibility in the campaign to combat domestic abuse within the community.

He said ignorance and sensitivity around the issue made it difficult for charities like Jewish Women’s Aid to support victims of abuse in homes across the religious spectrum.

“It is an issue that we as a community need to have the maturity and honesty to face up to and address,” Rabbi Mirvis said before attending a Jewish Women’s Aid awareness event at Brent Cross Shopping Centre on Monday.

“No community is immune from this. It is often harder for organisations such as JWA to receive public support than it is for charities covering softer issues, or ones that we are more comfortable discussing.

“By actively supporting JWA, I hope that we are all able to recognise the importance of this issue and to galvanise support for this cause.”

JWA was among groups dealing with domestic violence which took stalls at the Brent Cross event, which coincided with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Among the 200-plus shoppers who stopped by, a number talked about family and friends who had suffered abuse.

JWA executive director Emma Bell said: “Domestic abuse — physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual — affects one-in-four women in their lifetime. Jewish women are no different. We urgently need to tackle this issue in our families and community.

“It is fantastic that the Chief Rabbi is showing his solidarity with JWA and abused women on this important day.”

Last updated: 10:45am, December 2 2013