Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jerusalem Post article on battered women

This week's Jerusalem Post has an article on battered women in Israel (not particularly in the religious community). An excerpt:

According to Glick, abuse occurs in a cycle: The husband tends to find wrong in everything that his wife does. He will then begin to complain, and the complaints lead to a beating. After the beating, they will both relax because what they both know was going to happen has happened. Then they enter the "honeymoon phase," during which he may apologize for his behavior, cry and bring her presents. This phase can last for any period of time, until the complaints begin again. The woman's life becomes like a rollercoaster. She can never be sure when the abuse will happen, and her fear and expectation of future violence places her in a position where she feels she must be doing something to make him angry enough to hit her. Then, again, they will enter the honeymoon phase and she can relax until the next episode. "Weekends and holidays tend to be the worst days for those who are abused, and therefore most complaints come in on Fridays and Sundays," says Glick.
Here are two hotlines for abused women to contact if necessary:

L.O. Combat Violence Against Women: 1-800-353-300
Haifa Battered Women's Hotline: 1-800-22-0000

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another resource - "From Victim To Victor"

Also received by email:

I have a new manual out for women in abusive relationships called FROM VICTIM TO VICTOR - it can be ordered for $12 (including postage) from:

Miriam Adahan
2700 W. Chase
Chicago, Il. 60645

All proceeds will go to help women fighting abuse.
Miriam Adahan

A valuable resource - Shalom Task Force

I received this by email:

For those Suffering in Silence, you need be silent no longer, there is Help! Shalom Task Force, an organization with important haskomos (rabbinical approvals), available on request, has been helping frum victims of spousal abuse for over ten years. There are affiliates throughout the US. The main form of assistance is a Confidential HOT LINE. In NYC the # is (718)337-3700. Outside NYC Toll Free (888)883-2323. The trained volunteers who answer the phone are frum, empathetic women, extremely knowledgeable about domestic violence. They are available to just listen, or can provide referrals as necessary in various cities. Your story will remain confidential since no identifying information is collected. You will find a listening ear to vent to, a skilled partner to develop a safety plan with, and most of all--validation of your terrible pain, and daily suffering. Abuse hurts. You are not alone. It hurts to call a domestic abuse hot line--it hurts more not to. Do it for yourself and do it for your children.

Here is a brief article about Shalom Task Force.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Please share your story

This blog is intended to give people who have experienced spousal abuse (either as a spouse or a child of an abused parent) an opportunity to share their story with the rest of the world. People are often afraid to speak up for all sorts of reasons:

Because they fear that they are an abnormality.
Because they feel that speaking negatively about the frum community is inappropriate.
Because they are afraid of negative repercussions.
Because they are afraid no one will believe them.

But if people don't speak up, then these mistaken ideas are just further perpetuated. It sadly isn't abnormal that spousal abuse occurs. It isn't inappropriate to do something to stop a criminal from destroying other peoples lives.

The perpetrators of these crimes depend on their victims keeping silent. They know that the fear of speaking up in the frum community is their strongest ally. As long as people don't speak about it, no one would believe them capable of committing such atrocities. It's what they depend on to maintain control of their victims.

The community needs to be woken up to what's going on. Please share your story so this scourge can be exposed. There is no need to fear anything by sharing your story here. The post will be totally anonymous. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Send your story to bayischerpah (at) gmail dot com.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It can longer be ignored

This article in YNet (Yediot Achronot) brings word that Orthodox women are starting to report more and more spousal abuse to the authorities.

"The conspiracy of silence regarding violence against Orthodox women is slowly being broken, and we plan on helping them as best we can."

(There was also an article in Ha'aretz a few weeks ago discussing how there has been a similar increase in reports to the authorities in regards to child abuse.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Problem Is Real


It is denied by many. But it exists. Spousal Abuse happens in the frum community. In the frummest of homes. By some of the most respected individuals.

If you don't believe it's real, read this book to open your eyes a bit.

Just like the blogs got the ball rolling and forced the community to do something about the epidemic of child abuse festering in it's midst, it's time to do the same with regards to another sickness within the community - spousal abuse!

Like child abuse...spousal abuse ruins the lives of innocent people.
Like child abuse...spousal abuse is about ruthless people taking control and abusing those less powerful than them.
Like child abuse...spousal abuse has existed for decades in the frum community, but has been repeatedly swept under the rug.
Like child abuse...spousal abuse reports have not been treated appropriately by the rabbonim and other community leaders.
Like child abuse victims...spousal abuse victims were not given a voice or believed when they cried for help.
Like child abuse perpetrators...spousal abuse perpetrators have been given a free pass to continue their transgressions.

Isn't it time to do something already?

Let's speak up and expose this horrible scourge once and for all.