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Domestic Abuse Task Force




What is Domestic Violence?
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.

History of Domestic Abuse Task Force
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. 

What We Do
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.

The Past Year
This past year, the DATF is proud to report that we helped 2 families transition out of Hope’s Door and supplied them with items to start their lives in new homes. We also had a very successful trip to the Harvest Moon Orchards for apple picking and lunch. Smiles were on everyone’s faces as we hauled pounds of apples back to the shelter where they were already sharing recipes for apple pie, apple crisp, apple sauce, etc. Our WOODSY and Academy came through once again with holiday gifts for each and every one of the moms and children, brightening their holidays making their wishes come true. For our WCT members, we arranged viewing parties followed by a discussion of the award-winning documentary, Crime After Crime, with the filmmaker, Yoav Potash. It was an eye-opening look into the unforgettable story of the legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, a woman imprisoned for over a quarter century in connection with the murder of the man who abused her and a relentless quest for justice.

Coming Up
This year, we will be looking for volunteers to accompany the Hope’s Door residents to the orchards for apple picking. We'll be asking those who attend the Sukkot BBQ to please consider donating gift cards to use for our families from Target, Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Stop & Shop, A & P, etc. We’ll also be working with Abby Reiken to coordinate activities for Kesher families, and are planning to invite a speaker to a Friday night Shabbat service. If you are interested in joining our committee or want to know more about how to help, please contact us. 

Leaders: Judy Stiefel, Jennifer Trevor-Hochman and Bill Woolis, domesticabuse@wct.org

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783