Ruth Place: Valley interfaith partnership provides new methods of care for abuse victims
Nov 2, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 10:07 am
(Balin Overstolz McNair/KTAR News)
PHOENIX — Valley city leaders and the National Council of Jewish Women Arizona have come together in an interfaith partnership to create “Ruth Place.” It’s a new trauma-informed treatment center for people who have experienced sexual, gender-based, intimate partner and other types of violence and abuse.
NCJWAZ President Civia Tamarkin spoke at the ribbon-cutting Tuesday. She noted its roots, “Ruth Place, named after the Hebrew word for ‘compassionate friend.’”
The new center has been in the works for five years. Tamarkin sees it as a first step in a bigger process, calling it the “initial” Ruth Place. Additionally, it aims to function as a community-oriented treatment center. Tamarkin hopes people will spread the practices taught in the program.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego explained at a ribbon-cutting ceremony that Ruth Place acts as an addition to existing Valley services.
“Local government provides great first responder’s services to people experiencing this type of trauma. I saw a need for more long-term services,” Gallego said.
Gallego said roughly two in five women and up to one in five men experience trauma related to violence.
What is Ruth Place’s treatment process?
For the treatment, Program Director Dr. Camea Peca helped come up with the site’s six-month treatment plan. It’s based on her personal and professional experience with the Arizona Trauma Center.
“I’m a domestic violence survivor and I’ve also experienced some sexual assault throughout my lifetime,” Peca said “And what I noticed is that people were sitting quiet, and even myself, I was hiding it.”
Dr. Peca’s treatment plan is all about using trauma-informed care and removing “shame” from the equation.
“So our whole model is based on building on all the amazing skills and beauty and strengths that everyone has inside of them and moving out of the trauma responses that are just the body’s normal response to what’s happened to people,” Peca said.
Gallego noted the timing of the center at a time when Valley communities are seeing a rise in intolerance.
“We’re having great challenges with tolerance and anti-Semitism and the fact that the organization is National Council of Jewish Women is very meaningful,” Gallego said.
Gallego added that Ruth Place is open for men and women of all faiths to receive treatment and care.
The center has already begun working with its first people in need of care. Learn more about how to donate to or find help at Ruth Place – National Council of Jewish Women Arizona.