מִפְּנֵי שֵׂיבָה תָּקוּם, וְהָדַרְתָּ פְּנֵי זָקֵן
“You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old...” (Leviticus 19:32)
From its inception, Sacred Spaces was envisioned as an organization to address institutional abuse in the Jewish community, in whichever institutions it occurred and against whomever it was perpetrated. At the core of our work is a recognition that, when individuals are provided positions of power, healthy systems of governance and accountability must also exist; this is especially true for organizations that serve vulnerable, dependent or marginalized populations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, elders are particularly at risk of abuse both at home and in institutional settings because they have been advised to isolate, remain indoors, and stop accepting visitors. Prior to the pandemic, more than 60% of elder care workers self-reported that they have abused those in their care, and elder abuse advocates report that abuse rates have increased as much as tenfold during the pandemic, in part due to social isolation. As such, it feels particularly timely that we release our first resources on elder abuse now, and engage more broadly in our mission to address institutional abuse across the lifespan.
There are three distinct resources: one resource for community organizations, one resource for long-term care and medical facilities, and one resource for family members and caretakers.