Well, Builder is up to his old tricks. The first week the Things went to school (court ordered enrollment, more on that later), he showed up at their school bus stop. Every Single Morning. The first day, he got out of the car and accosted me and them. Since I never leave home without my order of protection and my phone, I called the cops. Dropped call at the worst time. However, I did manage to make contact with the authorities and file a police report. Nothing was done because Builder had already left. This makes me question the value of a restraining order since it is only as good as its enforcement.
The next week, the Things and I are walking home when we see Builder parked In Front Of Our House. Thing 2 (both Things know that Totty is supposed to stay away from Mommy) started yelling, "Totty, go away!" I snapped a picture and called 911. For some reason, I kept getting routed to Directory Assistance. So, I take my phone and walk down to the precinct. I file another police report. I am told that Builder will be arrested.
So, I wait. And wait. And tell the same story over and over again to about four different officers. Every time, I am assured that Builder will be arrested. Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah come and go. Finally, I get an update--Builder is to surrender on Monday.
So Monday comes. And with it, some very interesting phone calls. The first is from Builder's brother-in-law. This does not surprise me. After all, I crossed The Family. And I may have been family, but not Family with a capital F. And, to The Family, anything short of complete acquiescence is construed as an act of war. "Could I pretty please drop the charges? Overlook it this once?" How do I put this nicely? No.
The next call was from Rabbi Brooklyn. This one did surprise me, as Rabbi Brooklyn's stance is that those who break the law should be brought to the attention of the local authorities. Rabbi Brooklyn wants me to pretty please drop the charges.
Whatever happened to dina malchutah dina? What happened to all the righteous indignation directed at a community that turns a blind eye to abuse? I guess when it's some Chassid in Williamsburg it's one thing, but when it's a shul board member and a regular at the Daf Yomi shiur? After all, "he's such a nice guy." Right. Because judges hand out restraining orders on a whim. Because abusive men wear signs. Because it's only a problem "over there." Whether "there" is to the left or the right, the Chassidische velt or the secular world, no one wants to believe that their friends, their relatives, their congregation, are capable of serious wrongdoing.