Newly Established Women’s Shelter
The newly opened Emunah Women’s Shelter is the first of its kind for Emunah. It will be home to 12 women and their children, all of whom have suffered abuse within their family. What makes this shelter unique is that the women and children can benefit from the Emunah services that already exist in the area. Emunah’s professional staff provide all that the women and children need for day to day living, social and emotional support, and legal support in dealing with the various authorities.
Maya’s future was full of hope and promise. She grew up in a middle-class home with access to education and opportunity. Her dream to have a family came true, and she spent her days caring for her three young children. But at night, her reality shifted. Once home from work, Maya’s husband began to drink heavily, turning into a “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” right in front of her and the children.
It began slowly. He would yell and throw things to instill fear and control. But it soon escalated to slapping, pushing, and abusing Maya night after night. Although she lived in a constant state of fear, her desire to protect her children took precedence over her own safety. Instead, she tried to keep her husband happy so he wouldn’t find a reason to hurt her. But no matter what she did, she couldn’t stop him. And when the violence shifted toward her children, she knew she couldn’t stay with him any longer.
After an awful fight and blows to her head, Maya knew it was time to run. In panic, Maya grabbed her three children and left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. She didn’t know where she would go, only that she couldn’t subject her children to the pain and abuse any longer.
Ever since COVID and the war, Israeli families have been experiencing an unprecedented amount of suffering and devastation. The average family has four children yet lives in a small two-bedroom apartment with no yard. Domestic violence increased significantly from living in such close quarters along with experiencing additional stressors such as job loss, quarantine, school closures and lack of family and community support.
As a result, domestic violence and abuse has increased by 30% in the past year. Women’s shelters quickly reach capacity, and the shortage of resources to protect and help families who have suffered violence continues to be a significant problem.
Fortunately for Maya, Emunah’s Emergency Shelter for Women and Children recently opened its doors to house 12 abused families.