Gretchen Ruth Cusick, Principal Investigator
Founded in 1986, SHALVA is the oldest independent Jewish domestic violence services agency in the United States, serving Jewish families in the Chicago area. Chapin Hall and the Criminal Justice and Criminology Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are conducting a research project to help SHALVA further its mission to promote safety and harmony in Jewish homes and Jewish relationships by identifying and describing the existence of domestic abuse in the Jewish community. This project will provide a more complete understanding of how Jewish women in a large urban community experience abuse at home. Within this larger purpose, the project seeks to achieve two main goals: (1) to develop a picture of SHALVA clients and the domestic violence they experience, and (2) to assess the needs for and barriers to service among SHALVA clients.
To address these goals, researchers use a range of empirical methods, including quantitative analysis of SHALVA’s client administrative data and qualitative analysis of case notes. Together these methods will provide both a broad description and more in-depth story of clients’ experiences with domestic violence.