A grant from the Department of Justice will be used to help combat domestic violence against women and girls in Baltimore’s Jewish community.
The $350,000 grant to Jewish Women International (JWI) is part of $12.6 million dolled out to 20 communities as part of the Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Violence and Engaging Men and Boys as Allies.
As part of the grant, JWI will partner with the Counseling, Helpline & Aid Network for Abused Women (CHANA) in Baltimore to develop a public awareness and education campaign, Good Guys, with the broad goal of empowering Jewish Orthodox men and boys to prevent and address domestic and sexual violence.
“The goal of Good Guys is to shift the culture from one of silence and victim-blaming to one of openness, empowerment and protection for victims,” said JWI’s executive director, Lori Weinstein, in a statement. “In order to shift the culture we need to engage men and boys as allies and partners.”
According to a news release, the Good Guys project in Baltimore is a natural outgrowth of JWI’s years of experience creating and adapting curricula and public education campaigns to meet the needs of diverse Jewish communities, and it will be implemented over a 36-month period.
CHANA Executive Director Nancy Aiken said her organization hopes to use the grant to develop public service announcements and advertisements on how to combat domestic violence. In addition, CHANA will work with male leaders in the community to develop outreach programs to help boys and young men understand the importance of developing healthy relationships with women.
“We need to make combating domestic violence a communitywide effort,” Aiken said. “We need fathers, teachers, camp leaders and others to set the example of what it means to be in positive, healthy relationships with women.”