Before Calling Social Services

Social ServicesThis is a prayer for humility before taking a difficult step: calling a social service agency to report a neighbor, family member or some other individual perpetrating violence on others. Along with asking for wholeness and healing to be the result, this prayer also asks for an end to all family violence. Optional language and choices for customizing the prayer appear in [brackets]. This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

Before Calling Social Services
With humility,
I prepare to take a step that may
Profoundly influence the lives of others.
The [violence / physical abuse / sexual abuse / emotional abuse]
Against _____________ (insert name of victim)
Must end.
The time has come to call [the authorities / social services / the police].
[There appears to be no other way.]
I do this with [sadness / fear / reluctance / shame / hope].
I do this in the name of safety and healing.
I do this so that justice and love may be restored.

Ancient One,
So many have suffered trauma inflicted by [loved ones/people they know].
Bring us to a time when violence and abuse are removed from our midst,
When friends and family treat each other –
Their parents, husbands, wives, partners, children, sisters and brothers –
With constant tenderness and steadfast care.
May this act be for blessing and not for curse,
For joy and not for sorrow,
For wholeness, consolation and peace.

G-d of Old,
Let your blessings rain down upon
All who suffer at the hand of family aggression,
All who suffer at the hand of daily terror.

Blessed are You, Source of peace.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: My prayers for mental health include: “My Depression” and “Mental Illness.” They both appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. A related prayer, called “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.

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Photo Source: National Union of Public and General Employees

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