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General Background

Women who are victims of domestic violence, and who live for a time in shelters for battered women, often leave the shelters with no long-term source of support or guidance for them or their children. For this reason, a third of them eventually return to the violent homes that they had previously escaped.

Target Population

Women who are victims of abuse, who are planning to leave their shelters, and who are interested in starting independent lives with their children.

Vision and goals

Daf Hadash aims to empower battered women, and to make it possible for them to escape the cycle of violence and start new lives as women who are free and independent in every respect.

Daf Hadash was operated by Yedidut Toronto for seven years, and during that time helped 600 women establish independent lives, free of abuse. Today the program is operated by the Government of Israel, which has expanded it and has hired the B’Atzmi organization to operate it.

Each participant is assigned a social worker before she leaves the shelter. Together, the social worker and the participant build a set of goals and a work plan that is unique for each participant. The goals inherent in each plan are:

Empowerment and personal development
Guiding the participant through the processes of making independent decisions as she builds a new life in a community and builds a support network, connecting her with support services in the community, and connecting her with her local governmental social welfare agency.

Development of parenting skills
Helping to identify the needs of the children during the transition period, arranging for diagnoses of learning or behavioral issues, and, when needed, subsidies for after-school enrichment.

Establishing a career
Providing occupational guidance, referrals to vocational and professional training programs, and guidance through the job search.

Exercising rights
Providing legal advice, referrals to other support agencies and assistance with bureaucracy.

Living in dignity
Offering financial aid toward setting up a new home.

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