Insights ~ December 2018


Lessons for Life

Rochelle Zell Jewish High School seniors have been learning with SHALVA staff to reflect on their relationships as they prepare for college as part of the school year theme of Tikkun Ha Guf, respecting the body. Samantha Spolter, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator, spoke to students about the cycle of intimate partner violence, warning signs and how to help a friend.

A highlight of the program was a role play with her niece, Maya Scholder, who is headed to Tulane University this coming fall. “The message we want the students to get is that the victim is never responsible for the abuse and that it is NEVER their fault,” explained Samantha. 

The second program tackled the definition and importance of consent for a healthy relationship. Students explored the mixed messages they receive about sex from their friends, family, school, social media, and Judaism. “We learned about the importance of communication and respect in relationships, and how to identify a healthy or unhealthy one. As teenagers, it’s especially important for us to be mindful of how we are treating each other and being treated. Our goal is to take what we learned and apply it in all of our relationships moving forward,” shared Brian Silverstein, DEAP social justice club co-president.

Photo: Molly Hart and Brian Silverstein, DEAP social justice club co-presidents


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DV Community Reacts to Shootings

“The most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she makes the decision to leave. This is when her partner realizes that he will no longer be able to control and manipulate her,” states Barbara Siegel, clinical director of SHALVA. The recent news in Chicago provides a horrific reminder of the truth of this statement.

As a member agency of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, we want to pass along the public statement of the Network to honor the lives recently lost to domestic violence and demand action to stop this violence. In the New Year, may we all work together to build safer communities.


Educating for Social Change

SHALVA was thrilled to receive grant funding from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation (AAMLF) for its Legal Program. Educational programs for paralegals, attorneys and mediators will improve the divorce process for domestic abuse survivors by emphasizing survivors’ experiences, teaching the signs of potential domestic abuse, and identifying use of the legal system to further the abuse.

Thank you AAML Foundation for positively impacting how the legal community will respond to and represent survivors of domestic abuse!

Photo: Viki Rivkin, Outreach and Education Liaison, Rebecca Berlin Melzer, Treasurer, David Pasulka, AAML Foundation’s Illinois President Elect, Carol Ruderman, Executive Director, Amy Tuchler, President



It Starts With a Phone Call

Five times….Dial. Click.
Five times before Jill had the courage to speak to SHALVA’s hotline.

At her husband’s insistence, Jill’s paychecks are directly deposited into his bank account. Her money is his…to spend freely.

Though a very responsible person, Jill’s husband doesn’t allow her to have any credit cards in her name. He permits her the use of one credit card–for gas and groceries only. Other purchases must be approved in advance. Recently, he cancelled her gym membership and toll pass, without explanation.

Before Jill called SHALVA she wasn’t sure she was experiencing abuse because her husband never hit her. Now she comes for weekly counseling to understand his ongoing manipulation and how to stand up for herself. She also receives financial assistance to buy medicine that her husband deems unnecessary.

Please help Jill and other women in unsafe relationships receive the long-term care they need.


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