Taskforce: ‘Task complete’

From left: Assistant Commissioner Dean McWhirter, JTAFV chair Debbie Wiener, crime writer John Sylvester, moderator Danny Blay.

THE Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence (JTAFV) will cease operating at the end of this financial year, with the board deeming it has now fulfilled its original mandate.

“Although there is always more work to be done, we believe that the JTAFV has been instrumental in raising awareness and offering a Jewish response well before family violence was acknowledged as an issue in our community,” the board, led by chair Debbie Wiener, stated.

The JTAFV was established 21 years ago, and the board noted that in that time family violence has become part of the national conversation, with a plethora of organisations dedicated to the issue.

“We believe that we have succeeded in facilitating this change process and within our community there are other organisations such as Jewish Care which offer an informed and comprehensive response to family violence,” it said, adding that there exists a vast array of resources offered in mainstream communities dedicated to both education and awareness, and assisting those in need.

Throughout its time in operation, the JTAFV has facilitated events for the likes of White Ribbon Day and Child Protection Week, taken part in the Walk Against Family Violence, been involved in interfaith activities, held performances to raise awareness about family violence, and more.

In 2014, the organisation was awarded the Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations (SWECO) gold award for its publication Will My Rabbi believe me? Will he understand? Responding to disclosures of family violence within a Rabbinic context .

“It has been a privilege to serve and we wish to thank all of our supporters and sponsors for their generosity, as well as our many volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the years which enabled us to train, educate and support so many within our community,” the board said.

“We are immensely proud of the work we have done in education and awareness raising in schools, with rabbis and rebbetzins, as well as increasing cultural sensitivity within mainstream service providers and the Police.

“The numbers who attended our sessions and those individuals and organisations who partnered with us in facilitating them have created an ongoing momentum. Together we changed the environment and the conversation.”

After February 8 the JTAFV email and telephone administration line will be monitored on a weekly basis until June 30, at which point they will cease.

Safe Steps is available 24/7 on 1800 015 188; For support from Jewish Care, call (03) 8517 5999 and tell them it’s a family violence issue.