The Four Silent Questions

Reflecting on Domestic Violence During Passover

Passover is a time that celebrates national liberation from slavery, and as families come together to commemorate liberation, there is an opportunity for discussion on the need for safety within households as well. Domestic abuse and intimate partner violence is a pattern of coercive control, including psychological, emotional, religious, financial, sexual, or physical abuse. It can happen to young and old, religious and secular, couples and large families, and in every neighborhood. Victims can feel embarrassed and scared, and they may be afraid to ask for help. They may also not know who to tell, where to find help, or believe they can get to safety.
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Help ask the four silent questions this Passover.

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Passover rituals can serve as a platform for raising awareness, offering support, and advocating for survivors of domestic violence. Consider these four silent questions during Passover to help shed light on the plight of those experiencing intimate partner violence:

  • If it is not physical, can it really be abusive?
  • If they have been together for decades, can it really be abuse?
  • If they are being abused, why didn’t they tell someone?
  • If it is so bad, why don’t they leave?

By fostering open dialogue and promoting resources for assistance, communities can use the spirit of Passover to address the issue and work towards creating environments of safety, respect, compassion, and healing for all. And, even if we are all scholars or wise, and especially if we are safe and know what is right, it is our responsibility to break the silence!

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