Stories of CHANA


This month marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), an opportunity to unite advocates across the country to stand up against domestic violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.

Lauren Shaivitz, executive director of CHANA, an agency of The Associated that offers a Jewish response to the needs of domestic violence and abuse victims, reminds us that our community is not immune to abuse. In fact, amidst a global pandemic, CHANA has seen a 75% increase in calls and a 153% increase in need for emergency shelter.

Raising awareness about domestic abuse and how we can work together to help build lives free of violence becomes even more paramount, not just during the month of October, but all year round. Below are just some of the individuals CHANA has helped in its 25 years of service.

The following stories contain content that may be triggering to some viewers.

Domestic Abuse During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately saw an increase in the need for CHANA’s services as victims were trapped in their homes with their abusers. Hear how one woman was able to reach out to CHANA to help her escape an abusive relationship during quarantine.

One Survivor’s Story

Meet Rachel,* a professional woman who has run multinational companies and found herself in a relationship that escalated from controlling to violent — as she became a victim of domestic violence. Hear her personal story of survival with CHANA’s help.

Heidi’s Story

Heidi didn’t recognize that she was in an abusive marriage until her spouse went after her daughter. Watch as she shares her personal story of survival, empowerment and rediscovery.

Helping Domestic Violence Victims Escape Unhealthy Relationships

Meet Amy**, who knew she had to move away from her now ex-partner, but experienced complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Turning to CHANA for help, she was able to secure safe housing while petitioning for a protective order.

Portrait of worried senior woman sitting on sofa
**Not her real name or photo

Domestic violence or abuse is a pattern of violent or coercive behavior used to maintain power and control over someone else. It can take many forms, and it can happen to anyone. 

CHANA provides counseling, crisis intervention, legal advocacy, shelter and prevention and education on recognizing the signs of abuse, reporting options and resources for seeking help.

For the last 25 years, CHANA has helped women, men and children of Jewish Baltimore find safety and healing. To learn more about their mission, visit their website or register here for their upcoming event on October 13, VOICES: When Relationships Hurt, featuring Bill Mitchell, a violence prevention advocate who tragically lost his daughter Kristen to dating violence.

*Some names and details of individuals have been changed to protect their privacy.
If you need help or know someone who does, please contact CHANA at 410-234-0030.


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