Oct 22, 2015
Ignorance Is Not Bliss

From the COLlive Inbox: A few years ago I did not understand Domestic Abuse. I naively believed there were two sides to every story.

Ignorance is NOT bliss!

A few years ago I did not understand Domestic Abuse. I naively believed there were two sides to every story. I believed a broken marriage could be fixed - if only there was the proper desire to make it happen.

So what changed? You might think it's because someone close to me was a victim of domestic abuse. That's definitely a factor, but not the whole story. Why not?

Because even though it was someone so close to me, I thought there were two sides to their story as well. At first, I thought that both partners were at fault to some degree. While I didn't condone the abusive actions, G-d forbid, I did mistakenly believe that they could be mitigated by a change in the victim's behaviors.

I believed that bad things were happening, but honestly, I was worried that some exaggeration was taking place. I really thought that through communication and understanding the marriage could be saved and the damage repaired.

So, again, what changed? I became educated! I started to learn about domestic abuse.

I learned that there is no stereotypical profile of a domestic abuse victim. No one personality that lends itself to be abused more than another. It can be your sibling, your neighbor, co-worker, boss … you.

I learned that anyone can be an abuser. It can be both men and women.

I learned that the children of an abused spouse suffer terribly, in silence. Even if they aren't direct victims themselves. It impacts their social life. As well as how they do in school. And their future relationships. And ... And ...

I learned that the abuse will not be apparent to outsiders.

I learned that physical abuse isn't just a slap in the face or a punch in the nose.

I learned that emotional and verbal abuse can be worse than physical abuse.

I learned that the threat of violence can be worse than the violence itself.

I learned that there isn't any behavior a spouse can do that deserves to result in abuse.

I learned that there is no behavior a spouse can do to placate an abusive partner, and suspend the abusive behavior for more than a temporary hiatus.

I learned that victims of domestic abuse don't exaggerate the abuse, they down play it.

I learned that you can't "just leave".

I learned that when you finally do leave the abuse doesn't stop.

I learned that the path to recovery is long and hard and requires a brave and courageous person to embark on such a journey let alone complete it.

I am still learning.

Most of all I have learned how much I don't know and how dangerous such ignorance and naivete can be. This lack of real knowledge prevents too many people from recognizing just who can be an abuser and who can be a victim. And so they just don't provide the right support and understanding that victims need.
And that perhaps is the biggest pity of it all. They could have been helpful if only they knew how.


End Notes: I am so happy to see the fliers that were distributed at the recent Jr. Nshei Event. Finally, the topic of Domestic Violence is being given the attention it needs. We have made tremendous strides in educating our community on the perils of CSA abuse. Now is the time to do the same with domestic abuse! Steps are finally being taken to begin that education. Kol Hakavod to the organizers of the “Dispelling Myths about Domestic Abuse: What You Should Know” with Lisa Twerski on October 28 at Oholei Torah.

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Opinions and Comments
thank you
Kol Ha Kavod!! What a beautiful article, incredibly well put and i hope, helpful to many
(10/23/2015 12:14:48 AM)
program sounds amazing!
It is time for a list of educated and caring therapist to be made and shared! If anyone reading this has had success with such a therapist please share their name and location for those who could benefit The mitzvah will be tremendous!!
(10/23/2015 12:15:35 AM)
So true.
Been there myself. Baruch Hashem I had the support I needed to get out and rehabilitate myself before it was too late.
(10/23/2015 12:35:08 AM)
Its about time
good to see and read. it took awhile, but alot of this grief and aberrant behavior is finally coming up from underneath the carpet . It is time to take an honest look and appraisal whether it is mental health issues, abuse, domestic, sexual, etc. .Keep up the good work...acknowledgment of the problem, and its existence is the first step towards any possible recovery
(10/23/2015 12:36:53 AM)
Kol hakavod
Very true!! Especially the line that "the abuse will not be apparent to outsiders". Having been an " insider", I can tell you how important it is to BELIEVE a woman when she says she is being abused and must get out!
(10/23/2015 2:00:58 AM)
How True
My husband has narcissistic personality disorder (and he's an addict) and it is common knowledge that in such a relationship - there are no "two sides to the story" .

I cannot leave for many reasons- so I have learned the tools to stay safe, self care and preserve my sanity, and most of all, to connect to Hashem in a big way - and I could honestly say that after allot of personal growth, he no longer holds power over me (I am no longer an "enabler") and I am experiencing a tremendous level of simcha and serenity even while in the non - relationship. True, it's not a relationship, but I'm in a good place B"H.
(10/23/2015 8:04:38 AM)
It's awesome
That is is being addressed in the community, much needed!
(10/23/2015 8:05:21 AM)
Unfortunately I had to make the decision to leave. I thought I'd stay for my children's sake even though both myself and my children were being abused. It took until my son said, "Mommy why aren't you calling the police, are you going to wait till we're dead," till my eyes opened and the realization that it was for my kid's sake, to leave.
It is my hope that others become educated and not fall prey. That others wake up and understand that this is real. That others support the victim, so that abuse will hold no power!
(10/23/2015 8:52:24 AM)
To #6
I admire u for coming this far but u deserve more!
A lot of women stay for financial reasons , I can't imagine that there is any other reason to stay in such a marriage. Personally I would rather live stone broke then in a non realationship.
Good luck and may u see true simcha shortly in all areas!
(10/23/2015 9:18:43 AM)
So Relieved To see This Issue Being Discussed Openly BUT
until the various Rabbis and Mashpiim who are in a position to recognize and VALIDATE the experience of the spouse who is being abused, we still have a long, uphill battle. These are the people who should be in the front row seats for this gathering - will they be there ??
(10/23/2015 9:19:12 AM)
You only need ONE
person who can actually HEAR you in order to begin to reclaim your sanity and your life. For me it was Bronya Shaffer who was my kallah teacher. She BELIEVED me whereas my own parents tried to comfort and placate me and giving me 'good' advice to make my marriage better. Only ONE person is what you need who hears between the lines that your marriage can't be made 'better.'
(10/23/2015 9:42:09 AM)
A great therapist
Dr. Sara Grozalsky 718-437-7315. Highly experienced, very good for marital issues, also for anxiety, counseling young people before marriage, etc.etc. She grew up in a Chasidishe home and has genuine Yiras Shamayim.
(10/23/2015 9:53:35 AM)
abuse does not discriminate
even teachers and even therapists can be in abusive relationships.

the shame that prevents them from seeking help, and has them working incredibly hard to hide the abusive behavior which is not their own

so painful to witness

even more painful to live with
i saw it and it

(10/23/2015 9:59:38 AM)
junior nshei and mikva.org
The article mentions that these flyers were given out at a junior nshei event. That incredible event was in conjunction with mikva.org. lets make sure to give them the credit they deserve.
(10/23/2015 10:03:29 AM)
While most abusers may be able, and the topic is usually addressed to women, men can be abused too.
I was in a relationship many years with a woman who was extremely abusive and it was very difficult for me to get out.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, saw her for what she was.
Being a male victim of abuse is harder to spot.
But what the writer of the article states must be heard by everyone, male and female:
I learned that there isn't any behavior a spouse can do that deserves to result in abuse.
If you feel you are being abused in any way for any reason you must know that you cannot allow yourself to be abused for any reason. There is no excuse.
You must do something about it. Speak to friends, family, professionals. But the most important thing is to know there is no excuse to allow yourself to be abused.
(10/23/2015 10:07:23 AM)
Great article, so we'll said
Wow #6 good luck. Living with someone with NPD is not simple at all. But neither is leaving one. I left mine and I am a lot happier but I won't tell you it's a walk in the park. Happy you're in a good place
(10/23/2015 10:10:58 AM)
Happy mom
These lectures encourage divorce in the community. They encourage people to label everything they dont like in the marriage as abuse. Dont attend them if you know whats good for you.
(10/23/2015 10:28:48 AM)
Much needed here in CH
CH lacks much enlightenment in this area.One major topic that I hope will be addressed is the discussion describing the profile and persona of the abuser.

Many people are fooled by charm,charisma etc. and fail to comprehend that this seemingly charming individual can be monstrous as well.He can donate thousands to charity, give fascinating lectures and even can be spotted holding the blind lady's hand as he assists her crossing the street. However,behind closed doors this very same man switches gears and behaves like a demon. He is capable of slapping his wife /children, assaulting his wife,berating her constantly with foul language ,and acting like a cold hearted monster.
These individuals are very sly and cunning. When a victim tells her family and friends about the abuse that she has experienced she MUST be believed. Believing the victim and understanding the profile of the abusive spouse is a start to understanding domestic violence.
Many of these abusers parade the streets as rabbis,communal figures and are teachers in our schools.I believe that once this myth that rabbis can't be anything other than what they portray themselves to be, many more victims will be believed and will have the strength to speak out.This will enable them to get help much sooner.
Kudos to those organizing this event. Bring your friends !This knowledge may be able to help you save a relative, friend or your next door neighbor who may be suffering in the deafening silence.
(10/23/2015 10:32:21 AM)
is also a form of abuse. To pretend to be a decent spouse in every way while living a double life is unbelievably traumatic to the betrayed and leaves grave wounds. This too is a case where there are no two sides, though that would be more comfortable for everyone to believe.
sadly it happens in our communities and is so misunderstood.

survivors feel like rape victims because they were unknowingly used by the same person who also went elsewhere. had they known they would have never consented. it is one of the most insidious forms of abuse and sooo much education is still needed, even in the secular world.
(10/23/2015 11:23:23 AM)
sooo happy
So so happy and relieved to see this subject come to light!!! I have been living with NPD spouse who is abusive and controling and it is harder for me that people dont believe me then the abuse itself!!! they are extremely manipulative and very convincing! its quite scary
Please educate yourselves..if not for you for someone else..this is SOOOO important! thank you to all the organizers for doing this!!
(10/23/2015 11:36:56 AM)
To everyone on this page
I was once a battered wife. I was young and in my twenties, without children. I left after 4 years of the most insane cruelty and horrific abuse. But the community wanted me to stay, even tried to intervene. But I left..I ran... An abuser stays an abuser forever. They are born this way..and it isn't just a husband or wife, your own mother can be an abuser, your siblings can be abusers. There are many many narcissists in this world, they are like it from children, they are the bullies of this world, and many of them pretend to be very from, and very kosher, and it is my experience, that these people get glorified in the Lubuvitch community, they are put on pedestals. GET OUT..LEAVE...dont make excuses for them and call them a 'great guy' or wonderful wife..your children will learn the ways and their families will be ruined too. I am older now and married again, and have lovely children kana hora and my husband is my soul mate tg. But if i could have turned back time, i would never, never have married such a rotten crazed psychotic creature the first time. Please don't waste your precious lives with an abuser, their abuse to you, will show on your face ...its like a haunted look that women get when they are with an abuser, all the while, telling everyone he's a great guy..ugh...makes me want to throw up.
Leave them and don't worry about the community because they will carry on regardless but you will have a broken heart and a life of sorrow whilst your abuser husband carries on his merry way in his career and you are left with a rotten husband.
(10/23/2015 11:38:37 AM)
I do not know from which world the writer of this article is from, however, the world that the Rebbe has enlightened and lead is full of letter after letter from the Rebbe that there is NEVER (as a rule) a "disagreement" where one side is 100% correct and that the other side is 100% in the wrong. This scenario simply does not exist. The only aspect in question is if the the faults is divided 90%-10% or 80%-20% etc. It always takes tow people to tango.
I am not here to judge each case individually, but unfortunately the cases where the men are abused by the woman are constantly increasing day after day (and maybe it has always been like that, but it is just that lately men have become more vocal about it.)

Domestic abuse, no matter who is the main instigator is NEVER acceptable, and I believe that enlightening the situation and supporting the abused should not be gender specific, rather to any one in an abusive relationship.

Just my opinion.

Gut Shabbat to all.
(10/23/2015 12:05:17 PM)
financially difficult
For many the reason they don't leave is because they don't know how they will manage financially. I was really lucky that I had family to help me. Asking was not easy though. Every time someone dies there is a new Sefer Torah written. Why don't some people start an organization in someone's memory to help men and women financially so they can get out of these situations without the added difficulty of worrying how they will pay for food and electricity. And help with a good lawyer.
(10/23/2015 1:01:45 PM)
Too number 6
Thank you for posting. I too choose to stay with my abusive husband. And I am working very hard on myself to find inner happiness. I am working so hard to stop being an enabler. I know it is a long process and may take a really long time to be strong and wise enough to stop his his power from taking over me.
Your post gives me faith that there is a way to stay together.
(10/23/2015 1:26:12 PM)
To #10
You wrote:

"I learned that there isn't any behavior a spouse can do that deserves to result in abuse."

You are wrong, and yes, there is. If you are abusive TO your spouse, it can result in being abused BY your spouse. Some people treat others in the same way that they are treated. Sometimes it's fair game when both spouses are strong minded.

The problem is, sometimes a spouse will only see the abuse that they are RECEIVING, but will not see the abuse that they are GIVING.

The biggest perpetrators of the above-mentioned scenario are women. A woman can harass, nag, and put down her husband for YEARS, and when he finally bites back, HE will be seen as the abuser and she as a victim.

There is NEVER an excuse for abuse. Never ever. But don't lump all cases into one sack of potatoes.
(10/23/2015 1:59:52 PM)
amazing speaker!!!!!!!
to #16 Lisa twerskey helps people define abuse if it isnt abuse she'll tell you so ,there isnt a reason for people to suffer in silence
(10/23/2015 2:36:40 PM)
The Rebbe's Opinion
The following is a free translation from Igros vol 6 page 143:

With regard to Sholom Bayis, he should check the Mezuzos in his house. And he should, as much as possible in this, overcome his feelings.. And if he will act accordingly, hopefully the situation of Sholom Bayis will improve, and he will be able to report good news about it..

And although - as he writes - he has several complaints about his spouse, one must remember that the current Golus came as a result of the sin of Sinas Chinam, and therefore the remedy for it is Ahavas Chinam, meaning even such a love which has no basis even according to Torah, and never the less it is demanded of us to love in the same degree of the hate that caused us to be exiled from our country and distant from our land.
(10/23/2015 4:10:32 PM)
to #22
I am certain you are wrong and quite frankly blaming the victim of abuse even a fraction of a percent is revolting and horrific.
(10/23/2015 8:23:19 PM)
to #27
The Rebbe is addressing shalom bayis in this letter but this is not a shalom bayis issue. That's something that couples work on together. This is about ABUSE!
(10/23/2015 8:29:14 PM)
To #27 comment!!!
Our Rebbe's advice and instructions are holy and pure. However, I stayed in an abusive marriage with a narcissistic sociopath for too many years trying to apply all of the Rebbe's advice from books and all of the Chabad Chassidus that I B"H was blessed to be taught by amazing teachers. It only helped me to continue to blame myself, keep trying for Shalom Bayis, and prolonged the abuse. Until one day my Rabbi miraculously "de- programmed" me from the brainwashing effects of my now EX husband thank G-d. This Rabbi who is Chabad from birth and very well versed in all of the Rebbe's teachings, told me that Hashem does not want me to suffer. Dear #27, you must be extremely careful when pushing the Rebbe's advice that was written for the klal when you are dealing with an individual situation. You have no idea what the result can be to so many people. Please do not be naive and mislead the well meaning abused women. The Rebbe said if a person needs a doctor, go to a doctor, etc. Advice to abused women should be left to experts in abuse, and those rare Rabbi's that actually understand it and help the abused women to do what is best for them and their children.
(10/24/2015 7:27:29 PM)
Yes! we do need our Rabbis, Kalla and Hassan trainers, to be educated on the subject of abuse, and by your presence, you are showing that this is an important issue that needs to be recognized and dealt with a very different approach than the typical lack of proper communication skills between two people.
(10/24/2015 7:28:32 PM)
so happy
finally somthing needed in the cummunity
(10/24/2015 7:35:07 PM)
Is this event only for people in a abusive relationship? Or can one attend if they know someone that's in a bad place and wants to help, but doesn't know how???
(10/24/2015 8:05:48 PM)
To 17.
Your comment stems from sheer ignorance.Women that have left abusive spouses are heroines and brave warriors.Lectures don't create abuse.Quite disheartening that you don't have enough empathy to attend lectures as such .If you would be enlightened on this serious subject ,you would be able to use this knowledge to help another woman that is suffering.
This is 2015. Educate yourself .Time to get your apathetic head out of the sand.
Btw it sounds like an abusive spouse may be preventing you from going.That comment about lectures creating abuse is a famous line that abusers use.They blame the therapists and lectures.This tactic confuses the victim and dissuades them from attending events that may save their lives.
(10/24/2015 9:44:28 PM)
To #28
Blaming the victim? Why would you say that I am advocating to blame the victim - ä' éùîåø - when I wrote nothing like that whatsoever? Do you have an agenda here of some sort?
Whatever the reasoning is, I will make myself clear once again, and that is that in the real world there is no such thing where one side is 100% in the right and the other side 100% in the wrong!! it takes two to tango! and NO, domestic abuse is NEVER justified no matter how much percent you are in the right.
(10/24/2015 10:19:21 PM)
Unfortunately, many people are immature, self centered, and unwilling to compromise for way too long. Perhaps they never learned to share or everything had to be their way since infancy. These immature men and women could dress and speak very well so it could be confusing.

From my experience in marriage I realized that a decision made is based on what is best for the family or best for an individual. One must be able to tell the difference. As for not getting confused by the charm and deception, learning and experience are key. Classes are necessary for everyone, before and after the wedding day. The woman I married was very boisterous and lively. Then again, I can't say that it was even really a marriage because marriage cannot be unilateral.
(10/24/2015 11:35:57 PM)
to #19
so true and so terrible:( specially for spouse for even more so for their kids:( need tremendous amount of support and love to survive and thrive
(10/24/2015 11:43:29 PM)
Evil does not get a chance...
...any longer!
Finally being pulled out in the open, in the light, for the purpose of getting done with and eradicated!
So much progress has been made, so many researchers on five continents, all right on!!!! It's just bound to give you hope...
Dr Miriam Adahan is a great therapist fluent in the matter for many decades already...
Now there are incredible books that will validate all kinds of experiences as well as give you valuable tools to handle the situation, and don't you stagnate and let the cycles repeat ....
I recommend author Patricia Evans for verbal abuse.
A good point rabbi Manis Friedman makes in following the Rebbe's philosophy, is not to give into the victim mode that therapists are prone to do ( including books, but that's just the polarized way the world is still functioning ) .that is the trick if you are to see yourself as fully potent in taking you life into your own hands and effect the changes you are capable of.
It is not helpful to be put in the victim role!!! Sorry!!!!
You are having a challenge that with G-d' s help you will overcome, whether you leave or whether you stay...
You will learn to become so strong and adept at handling any bullying happening at work, school, random situations, and help others, with this new "education". You will come into your own! You will cease to admire those who seem to have power(which is the reason you married that person) and recognize that the only power is Hashem's and the power He bestowed to all equally in their own Neshama....and that got to come out and shine and be shared with the world , finally, instead of being held back like a prisoner locked up in terror!
Lundy Bancroft is a fantastic author and researcher that will convince our leaders of what it is all about...he is an expert on figuring the guys out, out of all their tricks of the trade!!!
Leaders NEED to educate themselves thoroughly , please, not just with one lecture...it's a pretty deep issue that cannot be gotten through one glimpse but harbors many unsuspecting facets....
(10/25/2015 12:38:56 AM)
Please don't mix the Rebbe and Torah into this
There is shalom bayis issues. In that case, rarely is one side totally right or wrong
Then you have abuse issues. One side is an abuser, and one side is abused.
Let's not confuse these two issues
(10/25/2015 4:06:13 AM)
Lundy Bancroft!
Excellent expert in abusive personalities that far surpasses anyone else I know about so far. He has a web site, and a few books (some for the lay person and some for professionals). I cannot recommend reading his books enough. He holds the abusers accountable for their actions rather than finding excuses for them! His knowledge is deep since he actually started by trying to help the abusers change (a very slim chance until Moshiach comes!), and then after many years and thousands of abusers that he had treated, he decided to use his knowledge that he gained in order to help the abused. He covers EVERYTHING. His books were and are a life saver for me to gain clarity and regain my sanity after what I and my children went through (and unfortunately still go through at times). His books are true tools of empowerment for the abused. Also check Protective Mother's Alliance web site which Lundy Bancroft was part of starting up. Three of his books "When Dad Hurts Mom (the effects of children witnessing abuse)", "Why Does He Do That?" and "The Batterer As Parent" (which applies to all abusers even if there was no physical violence), are all extremely helpful, professional, and must have books (you can keep them at a relative or friend's house that you trust, if you are still living with the abuser). I never knew about the books until after I was away from my EX. Even though Lundy Bancroft is not Jewish we know "there is wisdom among the nations" and we can benefit from it. By the way, many abused cannot bring themselves to admit that they are in fact abused. Like myself it took many years of going to professionals in abuse (who if they are truly good do not try to push anyone into taking steps they do not want), and never supported being a victim. It's never good to think of yourself as a victim. It is essential to be shown and realise that you are being abused and get out of it as soon as possible, if possible.
(10/25/2015 6:26:09 AM)
Real heroes are #6 and #24
Kol Hakovod to both of you! You are true role models.
Halevai many more women would speak up. Some abuse victims MUST leave their spouses. And there is no way to minimize their pain, or blame them. BUT - many others can be helped without destroying their marriage. Leaving a marriage brings a slew of its own problems. Working with a therapist (alone, many abusers will refuse to go to therapy), an abused spouse can learn the behavioral tactics that allow her (or him) to take control of the situation. Divorce is not always the best approach.
I can already hear the comments attacking me. So, let me make it clear. I am not condoning violence. I am not insisting that every marriage can be saved. I am not blaming the victim.
A good therapist can teach the victim tools to stop being an enabler. A good role model, such as #6 and #24 can be a coach.
Some marriages need to be ended. Some can be saved.
(10/25/2015 8:09:39 AM)
to #17 - You are absolutely right
Invariably, when you hear or read about any issue, you believe and feel that you too have that problem, even when you don't!

Example - mention head lice, and everyone suddenly begins to feel their head itch!

Not every issue in a marriage is abuse. Some are just bad middos. Forgetting to pick up milk on the way home from shul might be just that. He forgot. Yes, it can also be part of a larger set of passive-aggressive behaviors on the part of an abuser.

A spouse can be unromantic, selfish and self-centered. Let's add stingy and unappreciative to the list as well. Does this make for an unhappy, unfulfilling relationship? Absolutely! Is he/she and abuser? NO. Will the "victim" come out of such lectures wanting out of the marriage? Probably.
(10/25/2015 8:23:51 AM)
The old 2 to tango saying just doesn't apply in the the situation of abuse-educate yourself!
(10/25/2015 12:11:21 PM)
in search of a good therapist
To number 12 thanks for posting, can you provide any more info about Dr grozalsky (personality, methods,etc) and can anyone else post a therapist you had a good experience with? Real, warm, validating, wise, flexible, etc
(10/25/2015 2:31:24 PM)
To #43
Can you please back up your statement with facts, or is this an opinion?
(10/25/2015 4:36:05 PM)
Be realistic
Every engaged couple should be told that ALL marriages will have their bad times. It will not always be sweetness and light no matter how well the couple are suited to each other. This is a fact of life. There may be times when one despises the other, says or does terrible things. Young newly engaged couples must be warned early on that life will not necessarily be lovey dovey all the time - couples have to struggle and learn to compromise/come to terms with a certain amount of disappointment.
(10/25/2015 4:51:13 PM)
to 46
well, though i do not fully disagree with you, There are certain behaviors that call to no compromise . but rather to immediate professional help. Come hear about abuse.
(10/25/2015 6:20:04 PM)
Hearing about abuse solves nothing...
Every Kallah and every Chosson should be taught by the Kallah/Chosson teacher to reach out for help when needed. No one need suffer. And every kallah/chosson teacher should be prepared to refer to a professional therapist.

In most cases, all the teacher will probably say is "It is not your husband who has a problem. It is ALL men who..." (fill in the blanks. forget their wives birthdays, are oblivious to their needs).

And every Mikveh woman is prepared to recognize signs, even hidden signs, of physical abuse.

Lectures only aggravate the problem. Cases must be treated individually. Today's Rabbonim are receptive, and listen, and counsel sholom bayis problems.
(10/25/2015 9:15:45 PM)
dont mix !!!!
Couples have sholom bayis issues or couples may fight or not get along and in most cases they both need to change and learn and work on the marrige.
And then there is ABUSE ! where one is the abuser and one is the victim!
amazing that this event is happening!
I hope many newly married woman come so they can know right away if they are in sich a marrige.
And i hope many woman in general from the comunity come so they realize that this can happen to your sister, friend or neighbor or even your rabbis wife. Sometimes it's hard to believe that this can actually be happening to someone you see very often especially when you are not familiar with what abuse really is and how vicious it can be.
Open your eyes it's happening more then you rhink.
Educate yourself, go to the event.
(10/25/2015 9:27:46 PM)
looking forward
Thank you for organizing this event.
(10/26/2015 8:06:54 PM)
Serious issue - but need to recognize whole picture
This is a serious issue. But it's one that needs extreme care or thousands of lives can be thrown into turmoil needlessly, G-d forbid.

I've got to say that I wish that this important issue was being handled by trained rabbonim like Rabbi Heller. It's a problem that needs to be dealt with responsibly, but we also need to ensure that more harm isn't done than good.

I know and trust Mrs. Schaffer. I don't know Lisa Twersky and there have been a lot of problems stemming from NYU graduate social workers. Basically, all I'm saying is that I hope that there's a balance.

Secular domestic violence organizations run into 3 problems - and these are serious problems that also can't be ignored because children of divorce are at exponentially higher risk of suicide, drug abuse, truancy and delinquency - G-d forbid. Also, sometimes they encourage reporting of abuse that is either non-existent or so grossly exaggerated that the one making the allegation gets in trouble with the courts.

So, while we all agree that real domestic violence is wrong and should absolutely be curbed, we need to make sure that the Shalom Task Force does not operation under the assumptions that all such secular organizations do in the US, which are:

1) If a spouse complains at all to them there's more to the story (the opposite is usually true - they're an outlet to let loose and much is said without any proper context and the truth is often stretched to ridiculousness along the way).

2) They'll openly admit that they'd rather ch"v destroy 1000 fixable situations than take a risk on one.

3) They preach that verbal fighting can lead to physical abuse. This is rare and the scare tactic often works in ways that the counselor (who seeks onto to preempt) wouldn't want, such as when there's postpartum anxiety that causes focus on the worst fears.

For the sake of the next generation, balance, delicacy and working with each case one by one and with older rabbonim and older lady mashpios is crucial.
(10/26/2015 9:04:03 PM)
to 48
hearing about it is the only way to be able to recognize that a problem exists and direct people for help.
lecture is given by an expert on abuse with the goal of education and awareness.
when awareness is present , kalla and hassan teachers , rabbis, mashpiyim will be able to differentiate between pple that need tips for better relationship and those who needs to be directed to specialists.
terrible mistakes are done from well intended people that send back a spouse to be abused even more.
(10/26/2015 11:21:50 PM)
To 52 from 48
"hearing about it is the only way to be able to recognize that a problem exists" Thank you for proving my point exactly!

So you are saying that there are "victims" in our community who do not even know that they are victims? And they need to be taught that they are being victimized and abused? Otherwise they might just think that they are happily married, with nothing more than the standard ups and downs of all marriages?

Every Rabbi, mashpia, Rov, Chosson teacher, Kallah teacher, madrich should attend all such lectures, learn to recognize signs of real abuse and discreetly speak to the parties involved.

Mass meetings only teach people to go home, examine every interaction with their spouse, search for signs of "mental or emotional abuse" and ruin their sholom bayis!

In any case of physical abuse, the victim must leave immediately. Any therapy, discussions, sholom bayis can take place after the victim is assured of safety.

Most of these lectures, however, do not discuss physical abuse. You will hear things such as "Emotion abuse can be just as damaging, or even more damaging than physical abuse." Participants leave convinced that they are victims.

How many marriages have been ruined by well meaning friends who say: "you shouldn't have to put up with ...."?
(10/27/2015 7:36:41 AM)
They don't think they're happily married. They're either in a habitual; daze or they know they're miserable but don't know what to do. I question why YOU are so against educating ourselves about abuse.
(10/28/2015 10:16:17 AM)
Without walking in someones house its hard to know
When someone comes to you and says: "I am being abused"
It is honestly hard to believe the person. On the other hand, you can't not believe, or you lose the persons ear and their trust. They came to you looking for help with a complaint.
Is it real?
However, their pain IS real.

Its like a child who comes to you crying the other one hit him. Did you see it? No. What to do? You call in the other kid. "Why did you hit your brother?"
"Because he hit me!"

Now you turn to the other kid: "Why did you hit your brother?" Again: "Because he hit me...."

You weren't there-
You didn't see-
How can you fairly make a judgement call?

The same thing applies to Shalom Bayis.
Only by walking into a troubled couples home and spending time with them, just watching and hanging out, can one truly see whats going on.

Why not? Wasn't Aharon "Rodef Shalom?"
You think it happened by sitting at home playing arm-chair citic? Nope.

A couple has to go and visit their friend with the marital complaint.

Of course, you know what we will find:
Seven times out of ten? Someone just gave birth and their house is upside down. That complaint: "He's abusing me" is just ONE of many more.

Depression is the next criminal destroying marriages.
Someone got depressed and does hari-kari on their marriage.

Someone told me about a friend of ours getting divorced. I was shocked. I called the wifes brother and told him what was going on. He didn't know. He called his sister- SHE didn't even know her husband was about to give her a GET!

He was depressed and with this tip, his brother in law was able to convince him to get help and today, boruch Hash-m they are still married.

Spotting Post Partum Depression and helping friends seek help, either with Hypno Therapy or with a psychiatrist takes perception. You have to dodge the complaints and read between the lines.

Not to say that real abuse does not take place- It does, but reading between the lines takes leg-work.
You and your spouse have to go visit that friend and spend time observing. Make up a reason, bake a cake and go visit. Have a farbrengen with them. It will take a few hours but they will each eventually let their hair down. Then you can see whos doing what and get a true picture.
(12/28/2015 2:14:13 PM)
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