Tonight, I attended a panel on domestic violence in the Jewish community, with an emphasis on the Orthodox community, presented by the Jewish Law Students' Association of Brooklyn Law School. It began at six but, due to school ending at six, I didn't arrive until 7:15, catching the remarks of David Mandel (pictured), CEO of Ohel, which I found informative and interesting (e.g. He mentioned that we've been "speaking of domestic violence as a women's issue - it's a family issue" and that, in general, we "have to find a way to engage the husband".). After he spoke, the panel, which included Mandel in addition to Chana Widawski, a social worker, and Margaret Retter, a lawyeress, both knowledgeable in this area, responded to questions from the floor.
A few further interesting facts came about, such as that when Jewish women try to litigate, they often have much more limited financial ability than do their husbands, women are often concerned about their children's future shidduchim prospects, and, the most disturbing of all (though I'm not totally naive, it's still shocking to really think about it) is that it goes on everywhere(!). This last part certainly seems difficult for me to consider. Inasmuch as I know it surely must be so, it still seems hard to think about people the same way. Worse, I will have to deal with this sort of thing as a rabbi. (For another difficult issue for me and other rabbis to deal with, see this article.)