February 9, 2006
CONTACT: Stacey Norris
(973) 268-9797 x1034
STOP! Domestic Violence toward Muslim Women
NEWARK—Extraordinary members of the Newark Community are coming together through an initiative to stop domestic violence toward Muslim women. Baitul Hemayah, Inc., Crescent Social Assistance Agency, and Broadway House for Continuing Care have been awarded $5,000 from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. This was the only project out of 12 Presidential Requests to be funded by the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey during this grant cycle. Through this collaborative project, the following services will be provided to the community, domestic violence telephonic hotline and referral services, face-to-face case management and individual counseling services, and a domestic violence support group. These programs are estimated to impact the lives of almost 500 individuals.
Sa'idah Sharif is employed as an administrative coordinator for the Emergency Department at University Hospital in Newark. Because of her religion, Islam, Sharif was often asked to consult with various women patients in the Emergency Room. One day she was asked to consult with a Muslim woman who was abused by her husband. After assisting the young lady, she thought about other Muslim women with domestic violence issues and where they were going for help. "I could see that the barriers for Muslim women were tremendous and I wondered what I could do to help not only Muslim women, but women with low self esteem, women who are afraid to admit what is happening to them, women in general," said Sharif. This experience inspired Sharif to found Baitul Hemayah’s domestic violence center in November of 2003.
Baitul Hemayah has grown from assisting women to safety to a referral and support service. This charitable organization provides educational and social services to the community in response to the increase of domestic violence experienced by not only Muslim women, but women in general. Baitul Hemayah also provides support services to the victims of domestic violence, and counseling to those who perpetuate it by cooperating with religious scholars, community leaders and trained professionals. The main goal is to strengthen families. As of today, it has served 714 families, 2/3 of whom were non-Islamic. Baitul Hemayah and the Crescent Social Assistance Agency work to help a specific group of people who might not otherwise access the system.
"I knew Sharif from University Hospital and I found it to be a good opportunity to help a unique population that we haven’t served in the past," said James R. Gonzalez, CHE, MPH, LNHA, President and CEO of Broadway House for Continuing Care.
An affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Broadway House for Continuing Care, in Newark, NJ is the state’s only specialized nursing care facility for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Located in a magnificently restored historic landmark, this 74-bed adult residence is dedicated to serving the complex, post-acute needs of its chosen population.