Thursday, June 28, 2007

Do we encourage Survivors of Sex Crimes To Remain Jewish?

I support The Awareness Center. I think you should too. I received the following letter from them today.

Dear Friends,

I have good news: The demands for The Awareness Center's Services grows each day. More and more people seek to share their stories, to seek support, to break the silence. As paradoxical as it might seem that more survivors are in need of help could be a good thing; the reality is that they are now able to seek help and trust that they will find a safe harbor in which to weigh down anchor after years of silent drifting in seas of loneliness, shaming, and secrecy. More and more people learn that they no longer need to carry the burden of their hurt alone. They call. They e-mail. They ask for help.

We are honored by their trust and admiring of their bravery. However, there is also worry. Worry that as the demand for our services grows, our ability to meet those services is in serious danger as we lack the funding and resources to assist those who contact us in their hour of need. We are struggling to stay afloat.

When survivors contact us, we spend hours trying to locate the right resources for them. We have colleagues who volunteer their time seeking help through connections all over the world with people who specialize in the particular needs of each survivor, each family of survivor, each family of abuser who asks for direction and support. The brave people who contact us are that important!

Without guidance survivors often end up in the hands of missionaries who are all the happier to zero in on a survivor's anger with their abuser and their disillusion with their communities; and to turn them away from Jewish life altogether. People who work in counter-missionary organizations have voiced overwhelm with the number of survivors who turn to missionaries for love and support in times of confusion and hurt; equating Jewish life with isolation and taboo. Survivors who walked that path often told us that they didn't know where else to go. That they didn't know ANYONE in the Jewish community cared. That they didn't know they had an option to remain Jewish, to rediscover their connection to Jewish life. They are relieved to hear that The Awareness Center is the Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse and Assault--that it is there for THEM.

We want to continue to provide a safe harbor for people from our communities to seek shelter and assistance in. Without the funds to operate, however, we end up risking becoming ourselves a ship without an anchor; filled beyond capacity with refugees who are thirsty for support and hungry for understanding. We risk having no safe harbor for the very people who need it most of all.

Survivors of sexual assault are very much like refugees. Many are emotionally and psychologically destitute. Many are torn away from all they knew, shunned by the very people whom they loved or wish to love. They are vulnerable. Can we, Jewish people who know all too well the agony of refugees who sought safe-harbor only to be denied it, close the doors on other B’nai Israel calling for our help?

Please become part of solution; become a healer that helps hold an open harbor for weary survivors seeking shelter. Help us continue to help the refugees of assault. The Awareness Center cannot operate without your financial support. You can help. Please do not turn those in need away.

Your contribution to The Awareness Center, Inc. will help guarantee that Jewish survivors of sex crimes stand a chance in getting the help, information and resources they need. You will also be helping to educate Jewish communities all over the world on sexual abuse/assault prevention.

The Awareness Center, is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, are deductible for computing income and estate taxes.

Donation can be made by credit card, checks or money orders. To learn how to become a monthly financial supporter go to:

The Awareness Center, Inc.
(Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
P.O. Box 65273
Baltimore, MD 21209


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have the case of Seth Cohen as a link. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Do you have, or do you know where I can find, and information about his case?
Thank you.

June 28, 2007 10:34 AM  

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