WHAT IS SEMAH?
Safety, Education, Mutual Respect, Awareness, and Hope
SEMAH stands for the principles of Safety, Education, Mutual Respect, Awareness, and Hope. We believe that these principles are crucial towards building healthy relationships with oneself, between individuals, families, and communities. We were founded, in 2005, primarily to help combat the scourge of domestic violence and to spread awareness of non-violent means of resolving differences.
The word SEMAH seems to have a significant meaning in many languages. It is derived from the Arabic root letters s, m, and h which stand for tolerance and most importantly acceptance. SEMAH means seed or sprout in ancient Hebrew, a sacred plant in the Ojibwe Native American Language, equality in Sanskrit, and the state of ultimate connection with the divine in Turkish. The universality of the name SEMAH and its principles inspired us to reach out to members of the diverse Bay Area and International community to find ways to work together to address the shared evil of domestic violence and to build hope for a vibrant and wholesome community.
Our mission is the promotion of healthier relationships and the prevention of domestic violence through education and awareness of options. We want to be a conduit for resources to empower and enable victims and perpetrators to finally find a way out of the vicious circle of abuse. We will work with communities not well served, with a special focus on the Muslim and inter-faith communities.
SEMAH has participated in inter-faith Faith in Violence Free Families ("FIVFF"), Building Partnerships for Change project since 2004. This is an inter-faith collaborative program to address issues of domestic violence in faith communities.