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Domestic Abuse Task Force

Domestic Violence can be defined as an escalating pattern of coercive control (verbal, emotional, sexual, economic, physical, and spiritual abuse) that one person in a relationship uses over another. It is an epidemic that crosses all demographic, social, and educational boundaries—and Westchester is no exception. Women are more likely than men to experience this type of abuse. Many women (and their children) who have the courage to leave their abusers end up in shelters with only the clothes on their back. 

The Interfaith Caring Community of Greenburgh brought the issue to the attention of Woodlands Community Temple in 2008. Since then, we have teamed up with Hope’s Door, a Westchester-based shelter and counseling center that offers programs and services designed to break the cycle of domestic abuse. We provide transitional assistance to families leaving the shelter to go into their own homes by collecting and delivering kitchen supplies, bedding, groceries, clothing, toys, and the like, while also monitoring their progress and needs in their new community. Our goal is to let them know that there are people in the world who care about them and want to help them rebuild their lives. We also support other Hope’s Door needs and programming and bring education about the issue of domestic abuse and healthy relationships to the WCT community. 

Over the course of the year, we support, on average, five families. Sometimes, we learn that a family will be moving out of a shelter and into an apartment just before that happens. Then, we must act quickly to provide the family's needs. We are very grateful to ARDSLEY LOCK UP for providing us with storage space so that we can keep some things on hand. We also very much appreciate donations of gift cards (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, or any grocery store) so that we can fill in missing items. Gift cards can be left in the Social Action mailbox along with checks made out to WCT – with DATF on memo line. 

In addition to donations, Hope’s Door often needs volunteers to work at the shelter. Contact our leaders if this might be an opportunity for you. 

We were recently informed that much of the staff at Hope’s Door have contracted COVID and, while extraordinary measures have been taken to keep the shelter running, it may be necessary to move all six of the current shelter families into hotel rooms for the duration of this COVID outbreak among staff. Upsetting the newly established routines for these six families runs the risk of wreaking havoc on their healing; such an expense would also be catastrophic to the shelter’s budget. Please consider making a gift now to Hope’s Door. It will mean so much for their ongoing program as well as the current emergency. 

The DATF also holds educational programs. This fall, we held Watch Parties for the documentary film “Crime After Crime,” followed by discussion with filmmaker Yoav Potash. 

Leaders: Judy Stiefel, Jennifer Trevor-Hochman and Bill Woolis,

Sat, May 21 2022 20 Iyar 5782