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SHALVA FAQs

What exactly does SHALVA do?
SHALVA provides a 24/7 helpline and individual and group counseling to domestic abuse survivors. For ongoing counseling clients, we also provide legal information and support, financial assistance, interest-free loans, referrals and case management. Additionally, SHALVA has a team dedicated to community outreach and education about domestic abuse within the Jewish community.

How is SHALVA different from other Jewish agencies?
SHALVA is the only Jewish agency in the Chicago metropolitan area specifically certified by the State of Illinois to provide domestic violence counseling. SHALVA is sensitive to the unique religious and cultural issues many Jewish families face while also addressing the universal needs of all abuse survivors.

Where is SHALVA located?
SHALVA’s location is undisclosed for the safety of our clients and staff.

Is SHALVA a shelter?
This is a common misperception. While SHALVA briefly had a shelter early on, we currently do not run one. If temporary housing is needed, SHALVA provides referrals to local domestic violence shelters. Additionally, SHALVA can facilitate requests at area shelters for Kosher food and special accommodations based on religious observance. Most women in abusive partner relationships who seek assistance from SHALVA are helped through our free counseling and support services. SHALVA provides these services for as long as needed.

Does SHALVA counsel men?
SHALVA does not counsel any men in the office. We assist male callers (including abused men, male relatives of abused women, or male abusers) on the phone and refer them to an agency that can best fit their needs.

Do you only help members of the Jewish community?
SHALVA assists callers of all faiths on the 24-hour helpline and provides resources and referrals to all. The agency was founded to focus on the needs and issues related to Jewish women and families experiencing abuse. SHALVA provides in-office counseling and support services to Jewish women, non-Jewish women who self-identify as Jewish, and women who are in a relationship with someone Jewish.

If a woman comes to SHALVA, does that mean she will get divorced?
If a woman is considering leaving her abusive home, SHALVA educates her about options. It is up to each woman to decide what path to follow. Our therapists respect a client’s right to make decisions that are best for her. The agency supports her in whatever direction she chooses in a non-judgmental and caring way.

Do you provide legal assistance and representation?
SHALVA has a family law attorney on staff as part of our Legal Liaison program to answer clients’ legal questions. To receive legal support, an in-office clinical assessment must be completed. SHALVA does not offer representation in court.

Does SHALVA offer financial assistance?
SHALVA provides interest free loans and monetary assistance to ongoing clients who meet the criteria.