Councillors think Jewish women never victims of domestic violence; all rich

// 4 July 2008

In evidence submitted to a recent report by the Home Affairs Select Committee on domestic violence, Imkaan described how at a London Councils grants meeting, councillors said that Jewish women don’t experience domestic violence(!), and if they do, they’re rich enough to pay for their own services.

Glad to know these are the folks responsible for doling out funding to women’s shelters. It’s not really worth answering this anti-Semitic drivel, but check out Jewish Women’s Aid if you really need a primer in ‘no women are immune from domestic violence’:

The lack of awareness of domestic violence in the Jewish community has caused damage. Women may remain silent through shame, embarrassment, a feeling of guilt or fear that they will not be believed. They feel alone, that no-one else has experienced such abuse and that it must be their fault. Being believed, accepted, supported and understood is vital. It brings strength and comfort and is the start of recovery.

See this story in the Jewish Chronicle for more – but you can read the full evidence here. Via Jewess

Comments From You

Shea // Posted 5 July 2008 at 2:31 am

Ah denial- its not just a river in Egypt! This sounds like the old stick your head in the sand approach to problem solving. The kind of rubbish Imkaan are spouting is esp worrying– because from their website they seem a fairly progressive organisation- — clearly not.

Jess McCabe // Posted 5 July 2008 at 9:24 am

Just to clarify, it was a councillor who said these things, not anyone from Imkaan. Imkaan were reporting back on the incident at an evidence session of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

cb // Posted 5 July 2008 at 9:52 am

That’s horrendous. If any other ethnic or religious group was singled out in that way, I imagine it would have been much more widely reported.

Jewish Princess // Posted 5 July 2008 at 2:09 pm

Jewish women don’t experience domestic violence? Try telling that to my mother. My father took every penny she earned, beat and abused both her and me, controlled us by witholding things like food and medical care, and threatened to kill us if we ever dared to try and leave. Nobody had any idea there was anything wrong with my home life because I was a Nice Jewish Girl, well spoken and a straight A student. Horrific stuff can happen behind the closed doors of even the most seemingly respectable families.

Shea // Posted 5 July 2008 at 5:17 pm

My fault Jess for hurriedly mis-reading it. It did seem at odds with the Imkaan website.

Clearly London councillors are talking out of their backsides.

Jewish Princess- that sounds horrendous, I hope you and your mum are in a better place now. Seems some of the worst offenders for sexual and domestic abuse hide behind a veneer of respectability, often conferred through religion.

Polly // Posted 6 July 2008 at 1:40 pm

Isn’t it more straightforwardly ignorant than anti-semitic?

Jess // Posted 6 July 2008 at 7:28 pm

Polly – perhaps that’s the case, but the stuff about Jewish women/people all being rich is a stereotype which has been part of the persecution of Jews through hundreds of years… example chosen at random via Google

Cara // Posted 6 July 2008 at 11:23 pm


Oh for…

Polly – agree with Jess that stereotype of Jews being rich is definitely anti-Semitism. (Incidentally, why is this on the rise within the left? My sister insists that Jews “control the BBC” – *sighs*).

Anyway: even if a woman is rich, doesn’t mean domestic violence is not a problem! She doesn’t necessarily control the money, abusive partners tend to be very controlling and dictate what she can spend it on etc. – doesn’t mean she can get the money to get out. Sadly, also women often stay with abusive partners because they really think they can change, are so browbeaten they think they deserve this treatment and so on.

Someone on this council really doesn’t understand domestic violence.

jacoma // Posted 7 July 2008 at 1:28 pm

The same may be said of forced marriage – it is always covered in the Muslim context and to a lesser extent in Hindu and Christian contexts but rarely is it talked about within the Jewish context. Whereas forced marriage is a great problem in Traditional Jewish communities and works on similar principles of complete ostracism from extremely close family and community networks. It is fine for a community to “help itself” and “work things out amongst themselves” but where issues of inequality and non-conformity with the dominant norm are at stake, people need to be able to confidently turn to sources outside their community too. The Jewish community has managed to control its “dirty linen” far too well for the safety of some of the younger, most vulnerable and non conformist members. Sometimes it should be everyone’s business.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds