Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
In 2010 I started working with victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) at a large Jewish social services agency. My job was to help women fleeing IPV find affordable housing through a special priority program. I was not prepared for what I heard from the endless number of women who sat across from me. Rich, poor, religious, secular, Canadian-born, immigrants, young and old, mothers, and grandmothers. I came to understand that not all violence is physical, and IPV is about power and control. The most dangerous time for a woman and her family is after informing the abuser that they are leaving, or after they have left. I used a tool called the Wheel of Power (see below) to help women understand what abuse looks like. There is also a “cycle of violence” that involves the build-up of stress where the victim is “walking on eggshells”, acting out the verbal, physical or sexual violence, rationalizing, justifying, and apologizing for it, and then pretending everything is normal or “the honeymoon phase”. And then it all starts again.
I loved to see the gradual empowering of women who, once they understood the dynamics of abuse, successfully applied for housing, went back to school or work, and took their children with them into a brighter hopeful future. Fleeing IPV is the bravest move a woman can make and it is fraught with challenges.
I can think of no worse fate than being forced to physically isolate with an abusive spouse. AND there is help out there. You are not alone! You are not responsible! Check here for Emergency Services Across Canada.
Intimate Partner Violence in Israel
IPV is also a global epidemic, and Israel is no exception. Thankfully, they can turn to Na’amat’s Glickman Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of Domestic Violence for support and shelter if necessary. Check out this advertisement currently running in Israel
Here are additional resources for Canada
Are you or someone you care about in an abusive relationship? Learn to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and get help.