I had another court date last week. As I sat waiting on the Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) floor, I saw two--two--different women with covered heads who were not related to Builder. Nor were they attorneys.
Another at the Children's Law Center.
More than I care to count at the Family Justice Center.
And, if you go off the "iceberg theory," (only the tip is visible), for every one of those women, there are how many more who DON'T report? Nine? Ten?
Since Builder is now on his third arrest, this means that I am very much on the radar with the local precinct. Every so often, the DV officers check up on me to make sure I am safe. The last time they were there, they told me that they were in the area, and happened to notice that I was home. Apparently, there were a few other families on the block that they were checking up on.
The block. Not Boro Park. Not the neighborhood. The block.
It should be mentioned at this point that most of my neighbors are very frum.
Is it any wonder that I see frum men as predators? Is it any wonder that I don't want to remarry? Is it any wonder that I am more "tifrosh min hatzibur" than before? Is it any wonder that I walk through boro Park and mentally ask every frum woman I see, "Does your husband hurt you, too?"
When we are told to "walk modestly with G-d," we are also told to "do justice and love mercy." How, then, can that be compatible with spousal abuse? How can a Torah-observant man justify hurting his own family? Moreover, how can it be so common that frum abuse victims keep turning up everywhere?