Strong in Faith and Numbers, Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition Plans Capitol Hill Briefing

Strong in Faith and Numbers, Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition Plans Capitol Hill Briefing to Advocate its 2008 Agenda

Washington, DC - Religious leaders are often the first point of contact for domestic violence victims seeking a safe and secure place to disclose their abuse. Recognizing religious communities’ integral role in supporting, counseling and advocating for victims of abuse, Jewish Women International (JWI) has launched a national Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition to amplify the faith community’s voice in national policy and legislative initiatives. The group, comprised of more than twenty national religious and community based organizations, will hold its inaugural briefing on February 13th, 2008 on Capitol Hill.

“There is a tremendous need for religious and ethnic communities to call in one voice for more effective federal policies and increased funding for domestic violence initiatives. The Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition can reach millions more people than each community can alone,” said Lori Weinstein, executive director of JWI. “This briefing is an outstanding opportunity for our Coalition to demonstrate how collaboration with national domestic violence organizations can shape national domestic violence priorities as the 2009 Budget takes shape.”

Other speakers at the February 13th briefing include: Lori Weinstein, JWI’s executive director; Reverend Maxine Lloyd Ball, a domestic violence survivor, author, and religious leader, discussing how the faith-based community can support survivors; Linda Bales, program director of the Louise and Hugh Moore Population Project of the United Methodist Church, speaking on how religious communities can be effective national advocates for women and children; and Elaine Witman, director of partnership and program development at Sidran Institute, who will highlight the Baltimore Spirituality and Victim’s Service Initiative, a successful community and faith-based partnership for victims of trauma funded by a Victims of Crime (VOCA) grant.  Imam Magid, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America, an invited speaker, will address how religious leaders can support domestic violence victims in their communities and nationally.

About the Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition

The Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition, convened by Jewish Women International in the summer of 2007, has members from over 20 national faith organizations, representing millions of congregants from churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques from across the United States. The Coalition shares a commitment to effect positive change and to advocate, with a collective voice, for national legislation and policies that protect all people from domestic violence, with particular concern for women and children. To learn more about the Coalition or to RSVP for the briefing, contact Tovah Kasdin, Esq., JWI program manager, at 202.857.1300 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). If your publication would like to cover this briefing, contact Susan Jerison, director of communications, at 202.857.1300 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About JWI

JWI’s education, advocacy and philanthropy help women and girls worldwide celebrate their strength and achieve independence – so every home and relationship can be a safe and healthy place to thrive. To learn more about JWI programs creating safe homes, healthy relationships and strong women in communities worldwide, call 800.343.2823 or visit

The February 13th briefing, “Policy & Persuasion: How Faith-Based Communities Can Work Together to Advance Domestic Violence Laws,” will take place from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in Senate Hart 902 on Capitol Hill. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a former chief county prosecutor and outspoken advocate for domestic violence victims, will be the keynote speaker.

“As a former prosecutor, I know firsthand how important it is for people to join together to address the challenges of domestic violence,” said Senator Klobuchar. “I believe the faith community has an especially important role in this effort, because victims often turn first to their religion for help and guidance. The faith community also has an important role at the policy level as a powerful moral voice on behalf of victims, survivors and their families.”

Note:  The Peaceful Families Project and the Islamic Social Services Association—USA are two of the sponsoring organizations.