Jewish Care Victoria released an incredibly powerful family violence awareness campaign recently.

The campaign was developed in consultation with victim-survivors of family violence.

I find it very effective since at first glance the posters give you the impression that they are advertising something calm and playful.

After reading the words, however, a completely different picture emerges.

They are confronting and depict a variety of abusive and intimidating actions that highlight the signs of an abusive relationship.

Sadly there are many who are going through relationships as described on these posters on a daily basis. They are often terrified to speak out or seek help.

There could be numerous reasons for this. We cannot allow one of the reasons to be because they will be judged for seeking help. We cannot allow one of the reasons to be because when they do speak out they are encouraged to remain in the abusive relationship. We cannot allow one of the reasons to be because they are told it is normal to be in this kind of relationship.

Campaigns like this and others are crucial in raising awareness. More importantly we need to listen to the words they are communicating. We need to support those needing the help and we need to educate our children about the meaning of healthy relationships.

Love should be sweet. There’s no excuse for abuse. Relationships should feel safe.

There’s no two ways about it.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Daniel Rabin

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