Preoccupied with domestic abuse
After my wife’s and my recent attempts to help our domestically abused friend, my mind has been awash with thoughts about domestic violence.
In that context, I’d like to share another story about a second friend of ours… somebody that we’re especially close to. Her story, in a certain sense, is happier than the first one I shared, but… not really, as you’ll see…
Our friend’s story
The reason this particular friend’s story is “happier” than the first story of domestic abuse that I shared is that she got divorced from her husband not long after giving birth to their son, which means that she is free of him. For the past eight years and some months, she has not lived in fear of him.
While they were married, he was both physically and sexually violent against her, behaving exactly as his father does towards his mother, even today. For example, not longer after our friend had gone through the tremendous physical (and emotional) ordeal of giving birth to their son, he forced himself upon her, raping her.
He was regularly violent towards her, often hitting her; and whenever she filed complaints against him with the police, his aunt, a police employee, would immediately close the files from within the system, preempting police investigations into his abuse.
When it became clear that our friend wanted to get divorced, he threatened her, saying that he might not give her the religious divorce document that is required by Jewish religious law to effect a divorce. According to Jewish religious law, you see, this document can only be presented by husbands to their wives ~ and only wives, not husbands, are religiously penalized for having children out of wedlock.
Thankfully, her ex-husband wasn’t quite abusive enough to follow through on his threat; ultimately, he granted her the religious divorce document that she wanted, freeing her from his abusive clutches.
Still, she was far from certain that she would win custody of their son in court during the divorce proceedings (thank goodness she won that battle), and she has essentially been raising their child as an only parent ever since (she’s an amazing mother to her son). Also, her abusive ex-husband has visitation rights to see his son, so he’s still present in her life and will be for years to come
Now, the reason that this particular story is not a happy one is that this abusive bastard ended up remarrying; and he now has a baby with his second wife.
After a couple years of marriage and multiple unreported incidents of domestic violence against his second wife (she’s completed cowed by him), he struck her in explosive rage at his brother’s home, knocking her unconscious. Now, his brother is also a horrible piece of work, but he had to call an ambulance to take the unconscious woman to the hospital because the risk was simply too great for him to have a woman bleeding out on his carpet.
At the hospital, a nurse determined that the poor woman had been beaten unconscious by her abusive spouse and reported him to the police, at which point all of the complaints his ex-wife (our friend) had filed against him in the past were automatically reopened.
The bastard was charged with beating his wife and spent a few months in jail, after which he was put on house arrest at his parents’ home with a police GPS ankle bracelet. If I’m not mistaken, his sentence will be up in September, at which point he will return home to his poor, cowed wife.
His ex-wife, our friend, happens to have a degree in criminology and knows Israeli law quite well; and whatever she doesn’t know, she knows how to find out. So, our friend did some research and learned that given her ex-husband’s police record, he will be immediately apprehended as soon as his wife calls the police again to open a complaint against him, no questions asked.
In other words, even the reporting of another threat of violence against his current wife could land him in jail again.
Being conscientious, our friend contacted her ex-husband’s second wife and shared this information with her, letting her know that the police would come to help as soon as she contacted them.
Unfortunately, the abused wife responded to our friend in a frighteningly predictable way, saying that she was looking forward to her husband’s return, didn’t intend to report him to the police, and wished that he had never been apprehended by them in the first place.
You can’t make this stuff up… Well, at least I can’t.