Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wishing I got the exception

When Builder and I were together, people always told me how "lucky" I was.  That men like Builder were a rare breed.
Dear G-d, I wish that were true.  Unfortunately...
Since I left Builder, I've been spending a lot of time at the Family Justice Center.  My kids have counseling there; I briefly attended a support group until scheduling conflicts made it impossible; and they have all sorts of services for victims of DV.  Of course, since this is a city agency (it's part of the Kings County DA's office), a cross-section of Brooklyn will invariably find its way there.  Including my people.
On three separate occasions, I have seen frum or formerly frum women at the Family Justice Center who are dealing with their own abusive situations.  (And these are just the ones who came forward--how many others DON'T come forward?)  There are social workers who deal solely with the frum.  There was even a pamphlet about DV specifically directed to the frum. 
What are we doing?
I thought that we were better than this.  I honestly hoped that Builder was some kind of evil exception.  I honestly hoped that all the smiling ladies in Boro Park were happy.  However, I still think back to when Builder abused me.  I remember walking through Boro Park on a Shabbos afternoon shortly after it happened and seeing all the women outside with their kids, enjoying the spring air.  I looked at them and thought, "Did your husband do this to you, too?  Did he ever force you?"  Sad to say, I no longer feel safe among my own people.  I look at frum men, and I see predators.  And it breaks my heart.  I had honestly thought that the Torah these men were supposed to learn made them better than that.  But it seems like such a sham.


  1. Yes, to a few it is a sham, but not to most. Please don't let the horrific acts of a few ruin the good name of the many in your eyes. Most of us would never THINK of doing something so horrible. It sickens me. But just because a few priests molested children doesn't mean they all do.

  2. There was a time when I thought that observant Jews had fewer incidences of abuse than other cultures, because of the Torah's strong moral code. But for decades there have been pamphlets about domestic abuse hotlines in mikvehs, so I realized it must exist. Ritual observance doesn't necessarily imply moral behavior. It's awful that you have been a victim. It's such an unlucky break.

  3. Just like the average guy you pass on the street is a decent guy, so to is the average frum guy. The sad truth is we are no better and no worse than everyone else, just more self-righteous about it.


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