Everyone knows someone who is currently experiencing abuse. It does not discriminate. Abuse can happen to anyone without regard to age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or socio-economic status. Since one in four women and one in seven men suffer from intimate partner abuse, you likely have a story of your own to tell.
In 1976, the problem was even worse, albeit unaddressed, due to the stigma around domestic violence. However, a small group of women decided that enough was enough. With nothing more than a few resources and a relentless sense of determination, these women set up shelters within their own homes to support survivors of domestic violence. It was in these informal, communal spaces that JBWS began.
Breaking ground at the Carol G. Simon Transitional Living Resource Center that houses the Transitional Living Program
Today, JBWS is a non-profit agency that offers safety, support, and solutions to all people impacted by domestic violence. When someone calls JBWS’ 24-Hour Helpline (1-877-782-2873) because they think their relationship is unhealthy, their empathetic staff is there. Moments after an incidence of abuse is reported to police, members of JBWS’ Crisis Response Team are at the hospital or police department offering critical access to resources.
When a survivor leaves their home in the middle of the night, they are welcomed into JBWS’ Emergency Safe House Shelter. If a person requires additional assistance, they may enter JBWS’ Transitional Living Program. With 11 fully furnished apartments, the Transitional Living Program enables survivors to receive long-term residential assistance and access to counseling, case management, life skills training, services for children, and assistance finding permanent housing.
As they process their experience with abuse, JBWS offers numerous counseling groups to help them heal. When it’s time to face their abusive partner in court, JBWS is at the survivor’s side offering legal advocacy and support through the JBWS-led Morris Family Justice Center. However, JBWS doesn’t just respond to abuse, they work to prevent it through community education and abuse intervention programs. The Dating Abuse Prevention Program educates teenagers and young adults about dating abuse while the JBWS-led Jersey Center for Non-Violence provides counseling to people who use abuse in their relationships. Through this counseling, they are able to stop the intergenerational cycle of abuse, change their behavior, and end domestic violence at its source.
The JBWS staff pose for a photo during
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
All this is possible because a group of women decided that they were going to make a difference in their community. The collective strength of those few women is the reason that JBWS has answered more than 230,000 calls to its helpline, counseled or shelter more than 115,000 families, and educated well over 490,000 teenagers and young adults about dating abuse in just over 45 years. Help is always within reach whether it be remotely or in person.
P.O. Box 1437, Morristown