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Letter from the Executive Director

September 28, 2018

Dear Friends,

As most of us closely monitored the turbulent events of this past week, we find ourselves continuing to grapple with strong emotions, opinions, and reactions. In the north suburban community, another layer of distress was added as the horrific news spread that a Jewish woman and mother had lost her life, allegedly at the hands of her husband. Our SHALVA clinical staff reports that calls and sessions this past week were centered around both the national and local news. SHALVA clients, along with many survivors of sexual abuse and domestic abuse, were triggered, by the events of the day and the divergent responses, causing many to relive their own personal trauma.

Thank you for providing a safe, confidential place where survivors can come, be believed and find the guidance and support they need to heal. Thank you for providing vital education programs so we can all be there to support one another. As a community we need to know how to recognize warning signs, how to support and speak to survivors and how to have healthy relationships. Furthermore, we need to make sure laws, policies and procedures are in place to protect victims of abuse.

These times are unsettling for everyone, but also a learning opportunity. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a perfect time to schedule a program to better understand the dynamics of abuse. Meetings can be arranged with a personal group of your friends or your work/organizational colleagues. Most importantly, take care of yourself, find something that brings you comfort and peace, and be there for others.

As Sukkot comes to an end, our offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday for Shemini Atzerat and Simchat Torah. As always, our 24/7 crisis/helpline will be available during the holiday.

Wishing you all a Chag Sameach.

Warmest regards,

Carol Ruderman
Executive Director