"I'm financially independent, there's no doubt about it. I no longer need financial support.. I make a very nice living on my own, but I never forget where I came from and the amazing journey I went through" Sagit, an independent lawyer
Women's Spirit mission is to rewrite the story of women survivors of abuse
Women's Spirit, founded in 2007, works to promote Economic Independence of women survivors of abuse in Israel and strives for social change from a feminist perspective and commitment to social and gender justice. Women's Spirit is the only NGO in Israel providing women survivors of abuse with long-term solutions to escape the vicious cycle of abuse through a focus on employment and financial empowerment. Women's Spirit works with the social and business community, policymakers, and government bodies and only by raising awareness will significant change be possible.
What is Economic Abuse?
Economic abuse is invisible to the eye; it has no language and there is no law against it, but it affects thousands of people around the world every year. Economic abuse is the use of money and resources as a sanction, a threat or as means of control over someone; it is the “invisible weapon” in an abusive relationship and it is one of the main reasons there is difficulty in leaving the cycle of abuse.
"Crossing the Street”
“Crossing the Street” is a long-term community program that provides tools, knowledge, and support for women survivors of abuse to help them build safe and independent lives for themselves and their children. Financial independence allows these women to take control over their lives and escape the vicious cycle of abuse and support themselves. The program includes employment workshops; mentoring and personal training by trained volunteers; training sessions towards owning a business; scholarships to help with tuition; private lessons for reinforcing computer skills and language; assistance in work placement, etc.
“Crossing the Street” operates across Israel – in the North: throughout the central periphery; and in the South.
Education - Lectures and Workshops
we continue to expand the circle of awareness about abuse against women and to recruit partners in this struggle – gatekeepers who can identify signs of abuse and offer support to women in the community, women that the welfare services are unaware of (managers in the business sector, professionals in the field of beauty and cosmetics, Jewish ritual bathhouse attendants and more). Thus far we have provided knowledge and practical tools to over 12,000 people from all sectors, in Israel and abroad (Germany, England, USA and even Japan)!
Spheres of Influence
Women’s Spirit has been blessed with a community of volunteers who wholeheartedly dedicate their time and professional experience to our purpose and social message. As part of our support model, volunteers form significant, beneficial, and authentic relationships with the participants. They help the participants overcome professional and personal barriers and rebuild foundations of trust, self-esteem, and a sense of personal capability.
International Coalition Against Economic Abuse
For International Economic Abuse Awareness Day, organizations across the globe are calling for international recognition of economic abuse, its impact and the needed responses.
A new report released for International Economic Abuse Awareness Day by an international coalition of non-profits underlines how economic abuse is still under-recognized as its own form of domestic and family violence; ultimately impacting and preventing victim-survivors from leaving violent relationships and having the tools they need to start afresh.
Making a Difference: International responses to economic abuse examines developments across six countries since the beginning of 2021, in hopes of bringing more recognition and supporting responses, laws and strategies for changemakers and leaders to implement in their own environments.
Economic abuse is a form of domestic violence that involves a pattern of behavior to control another person by restricting, exploiting, or sabotaging their money or economic resources, limiting their autonomy and undermining their economic security.
The report confirms awareness, recognition and attention of economic abuse is needed to tackle domestic violence across the globe; with just four countries in the group, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the UK, recognizing economic abuse as its own form of abuse in national strategies or laws to prevent this violence.
Social Responsibility and the Business World
A NEW LIFE IS POSSIBLE
On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we had the privilege of holding the “Social Responsibility of the Business World” project for the fourth year in a row. We collaborated with leading Israeli companies to expand the circle of exposure and awareness of the issue of violence against women, we held dozens of lectures that exposed hundreds of people!
You have the ABILITY, and RESPONSIBILITY, to recognize signs of abuse, to reach out, and work together as a society to eradicate violence!
firstname.lastname@example.org | 072-2507770
Women's Spirit Bridal Boutique
Women’s Spirit Bridal Boutique is a unique social enterprise, which offers a variety of dresses that have been donated by top Israeli designers and brides. We offer an alternative for affordable bridal gowns while combining social awareness, environmental caring and doing something good for others. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers who are the heartbeat of the Women's Spirit boutique, we can offer a positive, pleasant, and professional experience to every bride.
Over the years, the boutique has become an inseparable part of Women's Spirit's financial resources that helps strengthen independent revenues while expanding the circle of exposure and awareness of the importance of financial independence for women in general, and women survivors of abuse.
ECONOMIC ABUSE AROUND THE WORLD -
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2022
Economic abuse is invisible to the eye; it has no language and there is no law against it, but it affects thousands of people around the world every year. Economic abuse is the use of money and resources as a sanction, a threat or as means of control over someone; it is the “invisible weapon” in an abusive relationship and it is one of the main reasons there is difficulty in leaving the cycle of abuse and it stands as one of the main reasons women go back.
Understanding and treating economic abuse is critical in the battle against domestic abuse and the rehabilitation of its survivors, as they break the cycle of abuse.
International Conference on Economic Abuse, where together with leading organizations from around the world we will discuss the phenomenon and what we can do to stop it.
Banking Availability Covenant for Women Survivors of Abuse
Women's Spirit, together with the Ministry of Welfare, the Bank of Israel, and the Association of Banks, is part of a project that expands the Banking Availability Covenant for Women Survivors of Abuse. This Covenant offer suitable responses for women survivors of abuse to facilitate the financial treatment of debts incurred by violent spouses. The pilot started with 8 Domestic Violence Prevention Centers and is now nationwide! We are also working to implement the Covenant among all social workers in the Domestic Violence Prevention centers
Women Building Their Own Business
The program Women Building Their Own Business is designed for women who wish to establish an independent business or women who own a business and wish to promote it. The program opens up the world of entrepreneurship for these women, and allows them to form a solid business vision, build a plan for achieving defined goals, develop knowledge and learn professional tools and skills to manage a business and reinforce their feeling of self-capability.
Significant Achievements 2021:
Precedential Ruling – women survivors of abuse are entitled to a study grant from the National Insurance Institute, regardless of the time they resided in a shelter – Women's Spirit and the Rackman Center joined as amicus curia in an important appeal as experts on economic abuse and helped change reality. In the appeal filed by Inbal Daga, a single mother with 4 children and a survivor of abuse, the National Labor Court held that the plaintiff is entitled to a study grant for her children, even before her divorce is final, and regardless of the time she spent in a women's shelter. The appeal was led by attorneys Talia Ramati and Nira Shalev. Women's Spirit helped the court understand two major things: effects of abuse are there long after the abuse stops; without financial assistance, women survivors of abuse have trouble leaving their violent spouse and breaking free from the cycle of abuse.
Expanding the Banking Availability Covenant for Women Survivors of Abuse – Women's Spirit, together with the Ministry of Welfare, the Bank of Israel, and the Association of Banks, is part of the Banking Availability Covenant for Women Survivors of Violence. This Covenant offer suitable responses for women survivors of abuse to facilitate the financial treatment of debts incurred by violent spouses. The pilot started with 8 Domestic Violence Prevention Centers and is now nationwide! We are also working to implement the Covenant among all social workers in the Domestic Violence Prevention centers.
Extending "double allowance" until the end of 2022 – following an initiative we led as part of the Coalition to Ensure Child Support Payments, a temporary order permitting double allowances was approved until the end of 2022, this makes it possible for women who are entitled to child support to receive unemployment payments at the same time.
Click the photo to
read about our work in 2021
Click the photo to
read about our work in 2020
Individual - Women's Spirit unique model is based on the principle that making a change includes a long-term relationship that guides women through self-empowerment processes and developing financial tools to achieve financial independence. Women's Spirit addresses the unique difficulties that survivors deal with such as post-trauma, and thus we offer a long-term process of up to 2.5 years. Our participants gain back self-esteem, and self-reliance and relearn the ability to develop job skills, maintain continuity in workplaces and find employment.
Women’s Spirit operates on four major levels:
Societal - Women's Spirit invests much effort in encouraging the community to take active action and become agents of change for women survivors of abuse. These include recruiting and retaining hundreds of volunteers to assist in our many programs, and the general public and business community to create social change and raise awareness. In addition, we have been able to develop successful self-income streams, including our Bridal Boutique and providing lectures and workshops.
Education – Women’s Spirit both strengthens our economic independence and expand the circle of exposure and awareness to the issue of abuse against women by providing knowledge and practical tools for identifying, responding, and preventing abuse.
Political – Women's Spirit's goal is to enable women survivors of abuse to overcome professional and occupational barriers, establish economic independence, and regain control of their lives. We work to change fundamental Israeli policies and laws that undermine, destabilize, and weaken women survivors of abuse, and achieve legal recognition of economic abuse in law statutes.