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Family Justice Center for Middlesex County

Video - Family Justice Center Better Serves Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Video screen shot

Middlesex County services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are scattered around the county. By housing resources in a coordinated centralized location, the Family Justice Center (FJC) will break down barriers between victims and services. FJCs increase safety for victims and children; reduce domestic violence homicides; and reduce recidivism among offenders. Women Aware looks forward to working with our partners to make the FJC a reality.

To help the Middlesex County community better understand what a Family Justice Center is, Women Aware produced a brief video. It features comments from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Alliance for HOPE International and Women Aware, and testimony from a father giving voice to his daughter’s experience as a survivor of domestic violence.

Click here to watch the 6-minute video.

Podcast Expands Communications

Women Aware Speaks - Self-care isn't Selfish

Creative Arts Therapists Aline Filipe and Lindsay Chaillet speak to the importance of self-care for survivors of domestic violence. To listen, click here.

All Women Aware Speaks podcasts can be heard on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic and Spotify.

We have a responsibility to one another.

Be the Bridge

Collectively, Women Aware asks that we search our own hearts for any dark corners where we remain silent about injustice and oppression. In order for Love to reign in our hearts, we must examine what is in our minds and how it got there. This is not about a guilt trip, but rather an opportunity to grow and love better. Today, please join us in lifting up George Floyd, his family and his community…our community. We have a responsibility to one another. Let’s raise a white flag.

Phyllis Yonta, MSW, MA, DVS
Chief Executive Officer

Podcast Expands Communications

Women Aware Speaks

To reach as many members of the Middlesex County community as possible using different media during the COVID-19 pandemic, Women Aware launched a podcast titled Women Aware Speaks.

Women Aware Speaks can be heard on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic and Spotify. Click on the episode links below to listen.

Episode 2: Safety Planning for Survivors featuring Domestic Violence Liaisons Rachel Bergfeldt and Kelly Jimenez

Episode 1: Staying Home is Dangerous for Victims of Domestic Violence featuring Director of Client Services Maliha Janjua

Women Aware Featured on National Forum

Director of Client Services Maliha Janjua Interviewed by Modern Muze

In response to concerns for victims of domestic violence under stay-at-home orders, Zulay Henao and Julie Skon of Modern Muze reached out to Director of Client Services Maliha Janjua. In her interview, Maliha shares insight into what domestic violence looks like and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on victims. She also talks about the resources available through Women Aware as well as state and national domestic violence hotlines.

Click on this link to read the article and watch the full Zoom interview: https://modernmuze.com/blogs/muzed/domestic-violence-support-during-home-isolation

Women Aware Featured on Facebook Live

Director of Client Services Maliha Janjua Speaks on "When #StayAtHome Isn't Safe"

Director of Client Services Maliha Janjua was interviewed virtually for Facebook Live by New Jersey Divorce Solutions CEO Christina Previte to share information about Women Aware’s services to victims of domestic violence who are not safe at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Click on When #StayAtHome Isn’t Safe to hear the full interview.

Update on Women Aware Services

For victims of domestic violence, home is dangerous

The COVID-19 pandemic makes it dangerous for New Jersey residents to leave their homes. We are all advised to “stay safe, stay home.” For victims of domestic violence, home is the most dangerous place of all.

Many adults cannot go to work. Children are not in school. Stores, malls, libraries, gyms, restaurants are closed. Social distancing discourages visits with extended family or friends. Fear, anxiety, frustration and uncertainty are running high. Families are together day and night. In a domestic violence situation, this is the perfect storm to trigger an escalation in abuse.

In an ordinary year, domestic violence agencies in New Jersey serve over 18,000 victims of abuse. As the state-designated lead domestic violence agency for Middlesex County, Women Aware supports 1 out of every 8 of those victims. In these unprecedented times, we are seeing an alarming increase in domestic violence. We see it in the types of calls our hotline workers are receiving and in victims’ desperate need for emergency shelter. Lives are in danger.

It is imperative that victims in Middlesex County know they are not alone. For 40 years, we have been providing comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence and their children. We operate the only 24-hour domestic violence emergency shelter in the second largest county in the state. We continually operate at full capacity, and despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we remain fully operational and in compliance with CDC and NJ Department of Health guidelines regarding the health and safety of clients and staff.

Women Aware is on the front lines for victims reaching out for help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our hotline – 732.249.4504 (Toll-free 833.249.4504) – provides safety planning, crisis intervention and resources.

Our on-site staff speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Urdu, Hindi, German and Italian. Hundreds of other languages can be translated in the moment. No resident should ever worry that language is a barrier to asking for help.

If it is too dangerous for a victim to reach out directly, a trusted family member or friend can call our hotline (732.249.4504 – Toll-free 833.249.4504). We need to look out for each other during this crisis. Victims need to know they are not alone.

We are here. We can help.