Going online to reach more abuse victims

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009
JWA executive director Emma Bell

JWA executive director Emma Bell

The new executive director of Jewish Women’s Aid has outlined plans to expand the charity’s services to reach as many victims of domestic violence as possible.

Emma Bell said an online advice system was at the forefront of attempts to encourage abused women to come forward. Victims could make contact via email rather than through the national telephone helpline.

“The email advice service marks a new way of getting in touch with the women who need our assistance,” explained Ms Bell, 34. “We recognise lots of women cannot use the telephone if they are in dangerous situations.

“They can now contact us through the website or by emailing us directly to advice@jwa.org.uk. We guarantee a trained staff member will be back in touch with them within three days. It’s a good way of getting through to a younger generation of women who are more computer savvy.”

Further additions included the establishment of a support group and counselling sessions in Stamford Hill. There are also plans to extend the charity’s services into Redbridge. Preparations are being finalised for freephone telephone counselling for women in Manchester, Leeds and other regional centres where JWA is unable to provide face-to-face sessions.

It additionally runs a number of school programmes informing pupils how to seek help if someone they know is being abused.

Ms Bell took up her role in mid-February, having worked in the NHS — and in Russia for Medecins Sans Frontieres and Amnesty International.

Last updated: 4:03pm, July 16 2009