Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse

Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen people’s day-to-day lives drastically altered. These changes are essential to beat coronavirus and protect our NHS.

The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. You are not alone.

The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Friends, family, neighbours and community members can be a vital lifeline to those living with domestic abuse. If you are worried that someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, reassure them that the police and support services are still there to help and direct them to sources of support.

The government supports and funds several charities who can provide advice and guidance and we are in regular contact with the charity sector and the police to ensure that these support services remain open during this challenging time.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse

What signs to look for

If you believe that you or someone else could be a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn
  • having bruises
  • controlling finances
  • not being allowed to leave the house
  • monitoring technology use such as social media platforms

Where to get help

If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the services on this page.

If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.

Call 999

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Then follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.

If you call from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard – this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

If you call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and BT operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can call for free, and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which you can book a safe time for a call from the team.

Refuge’s website includes a range of resources on identifying the signs of domestic abuse, and a safety guide for women and children who are living with a perpetrator. It also features a tech abuse chat-bot with step-by-step instructional videos on how to secure devices such as phones and laptops. Look for the pink button in the bottom-right corner.

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid has a range of direct services for survivors, including a live chat service and an online Survivors’ Forum. They have developed additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak. You can also find your local domestic abuse service on their website. They also provide information on the support helplines available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.

Telephone: 0808 801 0327

Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community

Galop runs the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline.

Telephone: 0800 999 5428

Email: help@galop.org.uk

Hestia

Hestia provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Chayn

Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

Sexual assault referral centres

Sexual assault referral centres continue to provide non-judgmental advice and support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

Interviews, forensic examinations and sexual health and counselling services are offered in a comfortable environment where staff will ensure that victims and survivors will be managed safely to comply with coronavirus guidance. Please call your local sexual assault eferral centre to arrange care and support, which may be provided in person or remotely depending on your needs.

‘Honour’-based abuse

If you are suffering abuse from your family or community because they say that you have compromised their ‘honour’, or if they are trying to force you into marriage, you can get help. Karma Nirvana runs the national honour-based abuse helpline.

Telephone: 0800 5999 247

Email: support@karmanirvana.org.uk

BME specialist services

Imkaan

Imkaan is a women’s organisation addressing violence against black and minority women and girls.

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters offer specialist support, advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.

Disability specialist services

These services are run by deaf and/or disabled people.

Stay Safe East

Stay Safe East provides specialist and holistic advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.

SignHealth

SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).

WhatsApp or Facetime: 07970 350366

Telephone: 020 3947 2601

Email: da@signhealth.org.uk

Economic abuse

If you are concerned about how coronavirus may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer.

The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.

Welfare benefits and housing advice

The Department for Work and Pensions has published up-to-date coronavirus-related welfare benefits information.

If you are concerned about your financial situation, you can contact Turn2us. They help people to access the money available to them through welfare benefits and grants. Their website has an income-related benefits checker enabling you to check that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.

Shelter provide free confidential housing information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues. They also have an emergency helpline.

Support for children and young people

Witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse can have a serious impact on a child’s long-term health. It is a top priority that vulnerable children and young people remain safe during this uncertain period. If you are concerned that a child is at risk of harm, you should refer this information to children’s social care or to the police if you believe the child is in immediate danger.

NSPCC

The NSPCC has issued guidance for spotting and reporting the signs of abuse on their website.

The NSPCC Helpline is available for anyone with concerns about a child to contact for professional advice and support.

Telephone: 0808 800 5000

Email: help@nspcc.org.uk

Childline

Childline is available for children and young people to reach out for help and support by phone or using their online chat service. They also provide specific guidance for young people on how to get help and what to do if they are worried about a friend.

Telephone: 0800 1111

Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s provides support to families affected by domestic abuse.

Family Lives

Family Lives also provide support through online forums.

Information on child contact arrangements

Rights of Women provides guidance about child contact arrangements relating to coronavirus.

Support for employers

If you are an employer, it is important that you signal to all your workforce that if they are facing domestic abuse you want to help them to get help. Keep in regular contact with employees you know, or fear, may be facing abuse and if you lose contact with them, take swift action to visit them. If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.

Encourage employees to look out for others who may be facing domestic abuse and signpost them to support. Your staff may also be worried about their own abusive behaviour at this time. There is no excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what stresses you are under and support is available.

The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse website has a range of resources to support employers. Business in the Community also have a toolkit with information for employers.

Support for professionals

SafeLives is providing guidance and support to professionals and those working in the domestic abuse sector, as well as additional advice for those at risk.

Support if you are worried about hurting someone

If you are worried about hurting the ones you love while staying at home, call the Respect Phoneline for support and help to manage your behaviour. This is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. It takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends, and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.

Telephone: 0808 802 4040

More information

For more advice and guidance on domestic abuse, please see Domestic abuse: how to get help.




These are the women in science to watch out for in India today

Science is not just a field for men anymore. Here are some significant female scientists from India, we all should watch out for.

 

Gagandeep Kang
Executive director, Translational Health Service and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad

Kang is a public health expert who played a crucial role in understanding neglected tropical diseases and the development of the rotavirus vaccine. Rotavirus is a virus that causes gut and intestinal disorders among children such as inflammation, diarrhoea, dehydration, and gastroenteritis among others. Kang’s works focuses on improving the health of children in India. She was also the first Indian woman scientist to join London’s Royal Society.

Kusala Rajendran
Seismologist, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru

Much of what we know about earthquakes in India today is thanks to Rajendran’s work. Rajendran has braved political tensions to reach the sites of all of India’s big quakes in recent times, such as what she faced from the Border Security Force when she landed up at the site of the 2001 Kutch earthquake. She once used indigenous knowledge to date an ancient tsunami that occurred in Tamil Nadu 1,000 years ago. Rajendran was awarded India’s first ever ‘National Award for Woman Scientist’ award in 2018.

 




Lovers in lockdown: How dating services want to keep us all swiping

Social distancing has hit dating scenes around the world hard. Tinder, OkCupid and other dating platforms are nevertheless doing their best to help love find a way. Has the pandemic hit pause on real-world dating — or just brought it online for a while?

“We don’t know who needs to hear this, but now is NOT the time to go out with your date to a bar. FaceTime, Skype, call, text, call, message on our app….all very romantic right now.”

Life has suddenly changed for us all and things are no different on the dating scene, as evidenced by numerous insights provided by digital dating app OkCupid on Twitter.

“A cool thing about our app is that you can social distance yourself AND flirt at the same time,” the company says, touting their service in spite of widespread lockdowns getting in the way of actual dates.

Countries worldwide are pushing people to keep their physical distance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect in other ways. That’s the word from digital dating apps that want to make sure that you keep on swiping, even if you might not be dating.

In practice, this means dating services trying to find ways to help keep apps alive indoors by shaping their services in line with the times.

Tinder is telling users that just because they are isolating physically, that doesn’t mean they have to stay home alone with their hoarded instant noodles. Instead, Tinder wants you to seek “solidarity matches” across the planet, a paid function that is now free of charge during the pandemic.

Tinder’s “passport” feature allows users to connect with anyone anywhere. “They can check in on folks in their hometown, college town, or sister city, and find those across the world who are going through similar things,” the company says.

The feature is available for free to all members in April, Tinder said, despite usually being reserved for premium users.

OkCupid is also encouraging its users to change their preferences to “anywhere” to help them meet up with singles in their country or around the world during this social distancing period, a company representative told dpa.

Bumble, a women’s dating app developed in Berlin, meanwhile suggests users chat in the app for longer than usual, rather than linking up right away offline.

“Right now, we’re committed to powering safe & equal *virtual* connections. That means staying safe — and, as much as possible, staying home (video chat is our new best friend!),” Bumble told its users.

Dating apps have also begun to issue more health guidance, too, and Tinder told dpa that it has been asking members to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

“While we want you to continue having fun, protecting yourself from the coronavirus is more important,” the site told in-app users, according to a report in TMZ, a digital news site. Tinder users should practice social distancing, carry hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently, Tinder says.

The dating app providers say their efforts are working. “In this challenging time, we see Tinder members finding new ways to connect. As an area becomes more affected by physically-isolating measures, we see new conversations happening there and those conversations last longer,” the company said in a statement.

“This epidemic is also changing the tenor of connection in the hardest hit places. More people are using Tinder bios to show their concern for others (‘how is everyone’) instead of their life motto,” Tinder added.

OkCupid’s chief executive Ariel Charytan said the company had noticed that activity had increased enormously using the app as people still wanted to meet and exchange, even if they couldn’t do so in person.

The platform is now sharing ideas for digital dating with its users, suggesting they meet for virtual drinks and dinners, play games or chat online.

And Maria Sullivan, vice president of Dating.com, found that 82% of the site’s singles turned to online dating during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a story in Bustle, a web site for women.

Other stories on its site advised users on how to hook up during Zoom meetings, for example, or the ins and outs of a digital one-night stand.

Has the virus taken love online at least for the time being? The hashtag #quarantineandchill trending on Twitter suggests it has, as users post songs, selfies and images of what they are doing.

For those with a free moment as they isolate and chill, here’s a question posted by OkCupid: “We need a new term for a long distance relationship that’s actually just someone quarantined in another apartment. Any ideas?”

Tal Rimon, a videographer based in Berlin, says in some ways, quarantine is helping dating.

“People are lonely right now. Everybody’s online,” she told dpa. “And people are talking for longer, it’s like 15 years ago, they are taking the time to get to know each other.”

In the past, she said, people used to just swipe out of boredom while they were doing other things, but now they are able to connect and find out more about each other before meeting up. “It’s not just about looks anymore.”

Other lovers are forging their own paths through the new landscape, combining digital connections with creative measures to meet.

“My friend is going on a first date tonight with a girl he’s been talking to on Tinder,” Dave Horwitz, an LA-based writer, shared on Twitter late in March.

“They’re going to park next to each other at McDonald’s and talk with the windows cracked while eating their own individual orders of fries. How’s that for romance and longing, Jane Austin?” — dpa

 




Princess Diana – Legend of the month

Born Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961, Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons and later divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash after trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris on the night of August 30, 1997.

Aristocratic Upbringing

British royalty Princess Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961, near Sandringham, England. Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most adored members of the British royal family. She was the daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, Viscountess Althorp (later known as the Honorable Frances Shand Kydd). Her parents divorced when Diana was young, and her father won custody of her and her siblings. She was educated first at Riddlesworth Hall and then went to boarding school at West Heath School.

She became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. Although she was known for her shyness growing up, she did show an interest in music and dancing. Diana also had a great fondness for children. After attending finishing school at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, she moved to London. She began working with children, eventually becoming a kindergarten teacher at the Young England School.

Diana was no stranger to the British royal family, having reportedly played with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as a child while her family rented Park House, an estate owned by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1977, she became reacquainted with their older brother, Prince Charles, who was 13 years her senior.

As the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles was usually the subject of media attention and his courtship of Diana was no exception. The press and the public were fascinated by this seemingly odd couple—the reserved, garden-loving prince and the shy young woman with an interest in fashion and popular culture. When the couple married on July 29, 1981, the ceremony was broadcast on television around the world, with millions of people tuning in to see what many considered to be the wedding of the century.

Marriage and Divorce

On June 21, 1982, Diana and Charles had their first child: Prince William Arthur Philip Louis. He was joined by a brother, Prince Henry Charles Albert David—known widely as “Prince Harry”—more than two years later on September 15, 1984. Initially overwhelmed by her royal duties and the intense media coverage of nearly every aspect of her life, she began to develop and pursue her own interests. Diana served a strong supporter of many charities and worked to help the homeless, people living with HIV and AIDS and children in need.

Unfortunately, the fairy tale wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles did not lead to a happily-ever-after marriage. The two became estranged over the years, and there were reports of infidelities from both parties. During their union, Diana struggled with depression and bulimia. The couple’s separation was announced in December 1992 by British Prime Minister John Major, who read a statement from the royal family to the House of Commons. The divorce was finalized in 1996.

Death and Legacy

Even after the divorce, Diana maintained a high level of popularity. She devoted herself to her sons and to such charitable efforts as the battle against the use of land mines. Diana used her international celebrity to help raise awareness about this issue. She also continued to experience the negative aspects of fame—her 1997 romance with Egyptian film producer and playboy Dodi Al-Fayed caused quite a stir and created a media frenzy. While visiting Paris, the couple was involved in a car crash after trying to escape from the paparazzi on the night of August 30, 1997.

Diana initially survived the crash, but later succumbed to her injuries at a Paris hospital a few hours later. Al-Fayed and the driver were also killed, and a bodyguard was seriously injured. French authorities investigated the crash and the driver was found to have a high level of alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. The role of the pursuing photographers in the tragedy was also scrutinized.

News of her sudden, senseless death shocked the world. Thousands turned out to pay tribute to the “people’s princess” during her funeral procession. The funeral was held at Westminister Abbey, which was broadcast on television. Her body was later buried at her family’s estate, Althorp.

In 2007, marking the tenth anniversary of her death, her sons, Princes William and Harry, honored their beloved mother with a special concert to be held on what would have been her 46th birthday. The proceeds of the event went to charities supported by Diana and her sons.

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton also remembered Diana when naming their second child, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, who was born on May 2, 2015.

Continuing her charitable efforts is the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Established after her death, the fund provides grants to numerous organizations and supports initiatives to provide care to the sick in Africa, help refugees, and stop the use of land mines.




Spring is coming – Build up your abs

Spring is here, or nearly here, however you chose to see things.
Myself I have decided to ditch the winter clothes, and venture out in my white jeans and pretty brightly coloured tops. I must say it is still a tad cold, so I invested in a lilac fur trimmed faux leather biker jacket, keeping warm but still with the element of spring.
So I rejoined the gym and enlisted the help of a trainer, for advice mainly (trainers can be very pricey, just try to get the basics and go it alone, or with a friend) he showed me the decline sit ups, where your head is further down the elevated work bench, and you sit up to be upright, with or without a weight plate (the weight plate really boosted my workout)
I have found these to be the most effective of techniques I have ever tried.
Being a mum, many of us share this same problem area, and the singer Kelly Clarkson, I really felt for recently had came under the dreaded Katie Hopkins wrath, for her weight gain after pregnancy.
Hopkins made (fat jibes) at the new mum on Twitter, in very poor taste I think.
When woman attacking one another for responding differently to pregnancy absolutely disgusts me. If Hopkins had of found her weight an issue she would never of poked fun at others, completely showing her lack of intelligence.
I mean come on, it’s like poking fun at a blonde because you’re a brunette! Absolutely pointless and pathetic, just like her.
She pokes fun at “talentless” people trying to gain fame, when she herself gets attention from bullying others! Madness she is even given air time.
Well that will be the only time I will give her any attention.
Any of you embarking on a new fitness plan for this summer, I salute you, and wish you all the luck. And remember, a good clean healthy diet is 80% of the battle.
Kisses Holly

 




Cover Letters – How To Impress Your Prospective Employer

 

 

The Basics

  • Always include a cover letter. The recruiter may not read it, but if they do, it is a key way to differentiate you from your competition. Over 85% of candidates do not routinely include a cover letter with their applications.
  • Remember that the first person who will look at your application will be a member of the HR Team. Therefore everything needs spelling out, as they will not be an expert in your area. Do not use acronyms unless they are used in the job advert. Use words that the recruiter will recognise and be able to link to the duties of the role. This will increase your chances of having your application put forward to the hiring manager.

Things To Remember

  • Make sure you have included your name, address, telephone number, email address and the date of your application at the top of your letter.
  • Include the company name and address if you have it.
  • If you have the name of the specific person to send your application to, make sure you include it and CHECK THE SPELLING. Recruiters are known to reject applications on the grounds that their name is spelt wrong. They believe that it shows that the candidate cannot pay attention to details.
  • Address the letter correctly if you do not have a name. You should address it to “Dear Sir/Madam”.
  • Sign the letter correctly. If you have written, “Dear Mr X”, you should end with, “Yours sincerely”. If you have addressed the letter, “Dear Sir/Madam”, you should end with, “Yours faithfully”.
  • If you have been asked to include anything with your application, such as references from previous employers, evidence of qualifications or samples of your work, make sure they are attached; otherwise your application will be rejected for not paying attention to detail.
  • Avoid humour or jokes in your cover letter (unless you are applying for a role as a comedian or a comedy writer). Your sense of humour may not appeal to everybody.
  • Do not use swear words or crude language in your cover letter.

 

First Paragraph

  • Make a heading for your letter. This should be in bold with the title of the job you are applying for and the location (if there are several options).
  • Your first line should be simple and to the point: “Please find attached my CV for the post of X”.
  • Then tell them where you saw it advertised. If you are being referred to the role by someone already working for the company, mention their name here, as if there is an internal employee referral scheme, they stand to make some money if you are appointed.

 

Second Paragraph

  • Outline briefly why you are interested in working for the company and the key skills you can bring to the role. To do this effectively, read through the advertisement and highlight which words seem to be important within it. Then double check by looking at the company website and see what they state their corporate values to be. The chances are that some of these will be in the advert. Use these key words in your cover letter.
  • If they mention key experience in the job advert, mention the experience 3 times in your application (across both the cover letter and the CV). For some reason, recruiters believe something that is mentioned 3 times. For example, if they state that they want someone with team management experience, you should point out in your cover letter that you have team management experience. Within your CV you should also state under at least 2 jobs that you have team management experience. Bear in mind that your cover letter and CV may be being scanned and ranked against other candidates by an automated e-recruitment system. By using the exact words used in the advert you are more likely to get yourself ranked highly. Similar phrases are not generally searched for so if, for example, “team management” is used, use the phrase “team management” not “managed a team”.
  • If they have asked for essential qualifications or accreditations, make sure that you mention them in this paragraph.

 

Third Paragraph

  • Outline briefly relevant work experience and any other experience (non-work related) which would make you suitable for the role.

 

Fourth Paragraph

  • Re-emphasise your interest in the role and ask them to invite you in for interview. Be subtle about this. Something simple such as, “I would welcome the opportunity of an interview” is fine. If you are going to be out of the country when the job closes, let them know at this point and tell them when you will return. If you will be checking your emails whilst you are away, this is a good point to let them know.
  • Thank them for their time in reading your application.
  • Finish with, “I look forward to hearing from you”.
  • End with either, “Yours sincerely” or “Yours faithfully”.
  • If you are emailing or uploading your application to a website, it is not necessary to hand sign the letter. If it is being posted or hand delivered, you must sign your name at the bottom of the letter. A typed name will not be sufficient.

 

Attachments

  • If you have been asked to attach work samples, evidence of certifications and accreditations or references from previous employers, list them under attachments.
  • If you have not been asked to attach any additional information and you have decided to, it is worth listing them under “Attachments” so that the recruiter knows to look for them and that they are relevant to your application.
  • If you are only attaching a CV, it is not necessary to have an “Attachments” section at the bottom of your letter. It is optional.

Notes:

Carolyn Philip is the Director of Fremantle HR Consultancy and regularly advises clients about how to apply for jobs and get their applications noticed.




What the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter have in common

Not Christmas, but Easter is the highest festival of Christianity. But how is the date of Easter actually calculated? Why do the Jewish Passover and Easter take place very rarely – as they last did in 2019 – but always at the same time? And why exactly then does Orthodox Christendom always leave a common date for Easter? A stroll through the intricate history of the Easter calendar.

As “Christmas Christianity” the Munich Protestant theologian and journalist Matthias Morgenroth has aptly described how in Germany and other western secular countries “the current shape of the Christian religion is revealed”. But that for Protestants in truth Good Friday and for Catholics Easter Sunday is the highest church holiday – this rumour persists to this day. It is true that the Easter cycle beginning with Maundy Thursday is the real high point in the Christian festive circle.

Whether Danish (Påske), Turkish (Paskalya), French (Pâques), Italian (Pasqua), Dutch (Pasen) or Finnish (Pääsiäinen) – most European languages still carry the memory of the Jewish Passover or Passover celebration within them. The German “Easter” we probably have to owe to missionary Iro-Scottish monks. As in the English “Easter”, the word contains either an old Germanic word for dawn (which could be related to Eos, the Greek goddess) or the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess of light (“Ostara”).

Light symbolism, then, but nothing certain is known – just as it is not certain why Maundy Thursday is called what it is called. That its “green” is supposed to come from the Grienen or Greinen der Büßer is not very plausible, since the day had already been a day of church joy since the 4th century, on which the previously excommunicated were admitted to Communion again after repentance and forgiveness.

Crucifixion on a holiday?

If the roots of Easter lie in the feast of Passover – why do Christians and Jews rarely celebrate at the same time? Rarely is it the case that – as was last seen in 2019 – the eve of Passover (the 14th Nisan or Erew Passover) coincides with Good Friday – just as the evangelist John describes it.

Pesach reminds of the Exodus from Egypt, the liberation of Israel from Egyptian slavery. After the biblical institution (Exodus 12, 1-27), the feast is celebrated in the Jewish spring month of Nisan, which in biblical times was considered the first month of the year. Today, the Jewish year begins in autumn with the Tishri (always 163 days after the first day of the Passover feast), because this is the month in which mankind was created, according to Jewish understanding: Almost parallel to Easter 2020, Jews celebrate the Passover in the year 5780 after the creation of the world. On April 8th (14th Nisan) the feast days begin with the “Erew Pessach”, the eve of the Pessach, and the traditional Seder meal, which is celebrated in the family.

Unlike our solar calendar, in which the months are only a vague reminder of the lunar cycles, the Jewish calendar as a “lunisolar calendar” (or “bound lunar calendar”) follows the lunar months very precisely. At the same time, it also follows the seasons, i.e. the solar year.

Because twelve lunar months correspond on average to only 354.37 days, but a solar year lasts 365.24 days on average, the Jewish calendar must regularly insert leap months so that the seasons and the months assigned to them do not fall apart. For when spring begins depends on the sun, which on a day between March 19 and 21 shines for as long as it is night. This equinox marks the beginning of spring.

This also makes it clear that the spring full moon – and thus Passover – can fall on any day of the week. At the Council of Nicaea in the year 325, however, Christianity decided on a dispute about the date of Easter that has been going on since the time of the Original Christians, and determined that Easter is to be celebrated on a Sunday.
Graphic overview of the date of Easter in John and the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, Luke).

Crucifixion on a major Jewish holiday? The evangelists present the date of Jesus’ crucifixion in different ways. However, the gospels agree on the weekdays of Easter: crucifixion on the day before the Sabbath (“Friday”), burial rest on the Sabbath, resurrection on the following day (“Sunday”). How the evangelist John dates the Easter event is considered historically more likely. The 14th Nisan (or Erew Pessach) and Good Friday fell on a common date last in the year 2019.

The tradition of the Gospel writings about the exact date of Jesus’ death is contradictory. The synoptists – the evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke – understand the Lord’s Supper as a ritual banquet on the eve of Pesach – that is, on the 14th of Nisan. The crucifixion would accordingly have taken place on the afternoon of the main Jewish holiday of Passover (15 Nisan) – which is regarded as rather improbable.

More plausible are the statements of John, who drops the Passover feast in the year of Jesus’ death on a Sabbath. Thus the last meal of Jesus with his disciples would not have been a Pessach-Sedermahl, but an execution could have taken place the day before the feast. Modern historians therefore favor the statements of John.

From Computus to Computer

Actually, since Nicaea, it seems quite simple to determine the date of Easter: It is simply the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. However, if you want to calculate the date of Easter in advance, there are highly complex difficulties – at least without a computer. Before mathematics became a free science, in the Middle Ages it worked almost exclusively on the “Computus paschalis”, the calculation of the date of Easter. It was only in 1800 that the mathematical genius Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) succeeded in packing the problem into a complex but clear set of algebraic formulae.

Strictly speaking, these are two different sets of formulas that Gauss had to develop. For as if the matter was not already difficult enough, since the calendar reform of Pope Gregory there have been two different Easter dates in Christendom, because the Orthodox churches (except in Finland) used the Julian calendar to calculate the date of Easter. The Orthodox churches refer to the Jewish Passover in their determination of dates – but in a negative way, as the Council of Nicaea wanted it: Easter must always take place after the Jewish Passover.

Like the Latin churches of the West, to celebrate Easter exactly when the Jews also celebrate Passover (as was the case this year) – this is therefore out of the question in the Orthodox churches. In extreme cases, therefore, it may even be that the Orthodox celebrate five weeks later than the churches of the West. Joint Easter dates like in 2017 are possible, but the exception.

A new Council that would help to establish a common date for Easter for all of Christendom is not in sight. In 2020 the Orthodox will celebrate in the week after us – when the Jewish Passover period is already over.




How to talk to your child about Corona

We are all overwhelmed by the wealth of information and news about the spread of the coronavirus that reaches us every day. For children, too, what they see on television, the Internet or social media, or hear about the coronavirus from other people, can be disturbing and confusing. This can cause anxiety, stress or sadness in them. It is therefore important to talk openly to children about this. This helps them to understand the situation better and to deal with it.

1. talk to your child about the corona virus and listen to him or her

Address the subject openly: Find out how much your child already knows and take it up. In order for your child to be able to talk to you openly and honestly, make sure that you are in a comfortable environment. Painting, storytelling and other playful activities can help to address the serious topic.
It is important that you do not trivialize your child’s worries and fears. Show that you take them seriously and that it is quite normal to be afraid of things. Listen and give your child your full attention. Make it clear that your child can talk to you whenever he or she has questions about corona viruses or wants to talk to you.

2. be honest – explain in a child-friendly way

Explain in a child-friendly manner what is happening right now. Children have a right to know what is going on in the world. Adults have the responsibility to protect them from danger, but also to tell you honestly about it. It is important to find a language appropriate to your child’s age – observe your child’s reactions and be sensitive.

If you can’t answer some of his questions, that’s not too bad! Do not speculate or cheat your children. Instead, try to find the answers around Corona together with your children.

Websites such as those of the Robert Koch Institute or international organisations such as UNICEF or the World Health Organisation publish serious information about the corona virus. Explain that some information on the Internet is not correct and that it is best to trust the experts.

3. show your child how to protect itself

The best way to protect children from the corona virus is to wash their hands regularly! You can also show children how to cover their face with their elbows when coughing or sneezing. Ask your child to tell you if he or she feels sick and feverish or if he or she has coughing or breathing difficulties. This will tell you directly whether your child is experiencing symptoms that may be related to the corona virus.

4. calm your child

We are currently encountering disturbing images and news almost everywhere. This may give the impression that the crisis is omnipresent. Children do not always distinguish between the images on the screen and their own personal reality. They may believe that they themselves are in danger. You can help your child to deal with the stress and anxiety by taking time, playing with him, giving him space to relax. Stick to routines and well-established daily routines as much as possible, for example before going to bed. If your child feels sick, explain that it is better for him to stay at home because it is safer for him and his friends. Show understanding that this may be boring or even disturbing and make it clear that these rules must be followed at the moment so that everyone is protected. We have compiled possible learning and crafting offers for you in another blog post.

5. find out if your child experiences stigma or prejudice

The coronavirus has increased fears and prejudices in many countries. For example, there are reports that Asian-looking people are excluded because they are associated with the pathogen. Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been numerous reports of discrimination. If children are bullied at school, they must be encouraged to talk about it with adults they trust.

Explain that the coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where they come from or what language they speak. Remind your children that every person – every child – has the right to feel safe at all times. Bullying is always wrong and we should all be friendly and supportive of each other.

6. tell hero stories

Explain to your children how important it is that people help each other. Tell them about nurses or doctors, scientists or pharmacists who are working to help others, who are helping to stop the outbreak, and who are developing a vaccine. It gives your children hope and takes away their fears when they know that there are many people willing to help.

7. Take care of yourself

You can only help your children well if you are well and do not seem worried or frightened! Because children are very attentive. They notice immediately if you do not tell the truth. If you feel anxious or insecure, take time for yourself and contact other family members, friends and confidants in your environment. Take time to do things that will help you relax and recuperate.

8. pay attention to how the conversation has affected your child

Pay attention to what all this information does to your child. We cannot leave children frightened or unsettled. Try to get a sense of how scared your child is. To do this, you should pay attention to his physical reactions (pitch, body language, breathing). Remind your child that he can talk to you about other difficult topics at any time.




Dot-to-dot drawings

Get your pencils ready, boys and girl!!! Connect the dots and enjoy some colouring time… !! 🙂

 

Punkt zu Punkt Malbuch

 




Entertain the little ones: Download the mumsRu colouring book

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