Tikkun Olam is a concept in Judaism that refers to “repairing the world” and is often used to support and protect those who are disadvantaged. The power of Tikkun Olam is that it speaks to the world being broken and the intent to fix (repair) it. For a Jewish survivor, Tikkun Olam could be an important cultural component to the healing process.
This summer, the Virginia Department of Social Services awarded grants to six culturally and population specific organizations to provide new domestic violence services to the underserved communities they serve. Representing communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, religious minorities and LGBTQ people, these organizations are trusted entities possessing a deep understanding of the barriers people in their communities face as well as the strengths and assets embedded in their communities. The six organizations include:
Greater Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) is committed to serving Jewish survivors and other religious minorities experiencing domestic abuse. Guided by the Jewish concepts, Tikkun Olam “to repair the world” and Shalom Bayit “peace in the home” JCADA understands how faith can be a source of strength.
Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. (ECDC) will launch Safe Journeys, an outreach, counseling and assistance program that provides culturally and linguistically tailored case management to survivors. ECDC has multicultural and multi lingual staff who work with African immigrants and refugees in Northern Virginia.
Boat People SOS, Inc. (BPSOS) has supported the Vietnamese community for 38 years and will launch the Communities Against Domestic Violence (CADV) in Northern Virginia. A large number of refugees have a history of trauma having fled unsafe homes and/or communities in Vietnam. CADV will address two compounding, cross-cutting problems that affect a large portion of Vietnamese Americans: dv and trauma.
Sacred Heart Center (SHC), located in Richmond, is a hub for the Latinx community serving clients from the entire metropolitan area. Funding will allow the SHC to provide new domestic violence services including case management, in part through an expanded relationship with Safe Harbor providing culturally specific service.
LGBT Life Center in Hampton Roads provides comprehensive services to the LGBT community from a staff who understands the unique barriers to and opportunities for safety and healing. LGBT Life Center will provide crisis services to survivors and their families and will work with Opinion Leaders to raise awareness about domestic violence in their community and share resources through their social networks.
Also in Hampton Roads, the Hampton Roads Community Action Program (HRCAP) addresses poverty through many programs and strategies. A specific focus has been on African American families residing in public housing and other neighborhoods of Southeast Newport News. As a multi-service agency, HRCAP clients have access to a wide breadth of services including new domestic violence advocacy and counseling for survivors and their families.
We are inspired by the work of our six new grantees who affirm their communities’ cultures and experiences and we look forward to learning through these new partnerships! Chào mừng đến với, ברוך הבא, ሀልሎ አንድ ወልጮመ, bienvenido, welcome!
Alyssa Murray is a Domestic Violence Program Specialist with the Virginia Department of Social Services. She has worked in the fields of domestic violence, public health, homelessness and education over the last 25 years. Her first experience working with survivors was at the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, the home of the Sicangu Oyate Lakota Nation.
Outside of work, Alyssa is a poet, a mom to two teenagers, and a human companion to two hound dogs. She works with the immigrant community in Richmond and is writing a children’s book about Irene Morgan and Elizabeth Van Lew.
You can contact Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org