Yes, domestic abuse happens in our community among all backgrounds, in both wealthy and modest neighborhoods.  It is the silent secret our neighbors are battling each day.  Bringing awareness helps support victims and escalates interventions to stop the violence and abuse.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and once again Rachel Coalition along with partnering local agencies will be hosting the 4th Annual Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at 357 South Livingston Ave, Livingston, NJ.  This event raises awareness of domestic violence in both the urban and suburban communities and educates the community on the services Rachel Coalition and other local agencies offer to victims.  

Last year at the Emmy Awards, Nicole Kidman won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series award for her role in "Big Little Lies," where she played a woman in an abusive marriage. While accepting the award she stated the following:

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"We've shone a light on domestic abuse, it is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know…. It is filled with shame and secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more."

What is domestic violence? It can be physical abuse that leads to tragic situations. Most often it starts as isolation, withholding of money, verbal, sexual, emotional and or psychological abuse that is not seen by others.  All of these forms of abuse leave the victim and in many cases, the family children, with deep emotional bruises that need to be healed. Raising awareness of warning signs, educating our youth and adults of the warning signs, and what a healthy relationship is will help us break the cycle of domestic abuse.

Rachel Coalition, a division of Jewish Family Service, serving Morris, Essex and parts of Hudson County, has planned this event with local community partners, Safe House of Essex County, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Family Justice Center of Newark. The program includes a musical performance by Soulfege A Cappella of Millburn High School. Along with our organizers, political leadership, local law enforcement, DV response team members and clergy of multiple denominations will be present to honor the victims and survivors.

Your attendance is greatly appreciated. The larger the crowd, the stronger the voice we make as a community showing that we too acknowledge the need to shine a light on domestic abuse and support our neighbors.

I hope to see you at the Vigil.


Carol Nelson-Felzenberg (Montville, NJ)

Co-Chairperson – Rachel Coalition 4th Annual Candlelight Vigil