SFJ is an advocacy, educational and support organization for survivors of sexual abuse and their families from the Orthodox world.
SFJ serves those who are looking for help and guidance with the issue of abuse within the Orthodox community. Working closely with qualified mental health, law enforcement, legal and media professionals, we respond to the needs of individual victims and then help them formulate and pursue a plan of action (whether it's finding a therapist, filing a report with the police, responding effectively to threats and intimidation, filing a civil suit, speaking to the media, etc.).
We also develop and implement programs run by experts in various fields to help educate and empower members of the community. We offer survivor support groups, as well as support groups for parents. We sponsor courses taught by experts in the field of trauma and sexual abuse geared toward mental health professionals and lay people who work on the front lines dealing with this issue in their communities. We run education programs and discussion groups for parents and teachers. SFJ's participatory action research projects help advocates develop and implement programs within their communities.
Our aim is not only to educate people but to facilitate the creation of supportive networks within the community. We believe that the often paralyzing fear -- of being accused of being a moser, of not getting a "good shidduch", of social ostracism -- that prevents many victims from reporting can only be overcome when victims know they can rely on the social support of others.
Through the work of its dedicated volunteers and professionals and with the generous guidance and support of Bikkurim (a joint project of the Jewish Federation of North America and the Kaminer Family), the Gimprich Family Foundation, the Paul L. Newman Foundation, the Franklin Philanthropic Foundation and others, SFJ:
- Sponsors participatory action research.
- Sponsors conferences and classes for mental health professionals and "first responders."
- Provides referrals to mental health professionals.
- Provides guidance and support to grass roots efforts within insular ultra-Orthodox communities including: Brooklyn, NY, Lakewood, NJ, Canada, the UK, Israel and elsewhere.
- Provides assistance to law enforcement professionals, mental health professionals and lawyers.
- Submits amicus curiae briefs to offer information on this issue to courts in the US and Israel.
- Provides referrals to lawyers.
- Offers direct assistance to victims and their families in navigating the criminal justice system.
- Educates the public about the issue.
- Educates legislators on the issue.
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