Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Preventing Date and Marital Rape: Dating, Shadchans and Dating Service

Dating, Shadchans (matchmakers) and Dating Service: Preventing Date and Marital Rape

Jewish Dating: Preventing Date and Marital Rape
The majority of rapes are not committed by strangers but by those who know their victims, who have gone out with them previously and are supposedly their friends. This phenomenon is called "acquaintance" or "date" rape. Date rape is forced, unwanted intercourse with a person you know. It is a violation of your body and your trust. It is an act of violence.

"More than 1 in every 7 women who have ever been married, have been raped in marriage." - Diana Russell, "Rape in Marriage", Indiana University Press, 1990

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

Table of Contents:
  1. No Romance in Frum Dating? 
  2. Dangerous Message from Aish HaTorah: "Date From Hell"
  3. “Hooking Up”:  It’s Not Just A Problem For Our Youth 
  4. How Safe are the Jewish On-Line Dating Services?
  5. Using the Shidduch System: Is it really safe?
  6. The Obligations Of A Shadchan (matchmaker) 
  7. Marital Rape
  8. Background Information and The History of Rabbinical Ordinations

  1. Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures - By Michael J. Salamon

  1.  Matchmaker - Fiddler on the Roof

  1. Case of Edward Nisimov
  2. Case of Jonathan Berkowitz

How Safe are the Jewish On-Line Dating Services?
By Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out - September 16, 2005

If you or anyone one else you know are a survivor of date rape, or attempted date rape from any of the Jewish dating services, and want your story told, please send me an email. Let me know if you notified the police, the service you found your date, what happened with the case, and what ever else you want to share.

If you are looking for resources for help, contact The Awareness Center, Inc.

Below is an sample of The Jewish Dating Services. You may want to ask each one what their guidelines are when accusations of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, or other forms of sexual misconduct are made against one of their members. Remember offenders can be both male and female.

Using the Shidduch System: Is it really safe?
By Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out
September 18, 2005

In the orthodox world it is not uncommon for single individuals who are looking for their beshert (soul mate) to use a matchmaker (shadchan). For many this makes dating so much easier, yet for a few, their lives have been changed forever in a negative way.

There have been times that a shadchan neglected to tell a client (either male or female) of their potential dates past criminal record. There are pros and cons about doing this. Everyone deserves a fresh start. If two individuals don't hit it off, there is no need to share everything. One of the problems of doing this is that there have been times that if one person doesn't hit it off with another, one may think of a friend who might be a better possibility. They no longer may use the shadchan, and a friend can end up engaged to someone who could be problematic.

I am aware of situations in which the shadchan (matchmaker) was aware that there were allegations of an individual being physically or sexually violent. Because the shadchan (or the rabbis who support the alleged offender) didn't believe the allegations, an introduction was made with a potential partner. There have been several cases where a couple marry, and an innocent person becomes a new victim of domestic violence, and or their children (male and female) become incest survivors.

After consulting with many survivors of these sorts of situations, I think it's time that we demand that there be a policy that shadchans are required to disclose if a potential mate has a criminal record prior to the introduction, especially when there have been allegations of physical or sexual violence.


Marital Rape

Approximately 10-14% of married women are raped by their husbands in the United States. Historically, most rape statutes read that rape was forced sexual intercourse with a woman not your wife, thus granting husbands a license to rape. On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes. In 17 states and the District of Columbia, there are no exemptions from rape prosecution granted to husbands. However, in 33 states, there are still some exemptions given to husbands from rape prosecution. When his wife is most vulnerable (e.g., she is mentally or physically impaired, unconscious, asleep, etc.) and is unable to consent, a husband is exempt from prosecution in many of these 33 states (Bergen, 1996; Russell, 1990).

Women who are raped by their husbands are likely to be raped many times. They experience not only vaginal rape, but also oral and anal rape. Researchers generally categorize marital rape into three types:

  • Force-only rape: The husband uses only the amount of force necessary to coerce their wives.
  • Battering rape: Husbands rape and batter their wives. The battering may happen concurrently or before or after the sexual assault.
  • Sadistic /obsessive rape:Husbands use torture or perverse sexual acts. Pornography is often involved.

Women are at particularly high risk for being raped by their partners under the following circumstances:
  • Women married to domineering men who view them as "property"
  • Women who are in physically violent relationships
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Women who are ill or recovering from surgery
  • Women who are separated or divorced

It is a myth that marital rape is less serious than other forms of sexual violence. There are many physical and emotional consequences that may accompany marital rape.
  • Physical effects include injuries to the vaginal and anal areas, lacerations, soreness, bruising, torn muscles, fatigue, and vomiting.
  • Women who are battered and raped frequently suffer from broken bones, black eyes, bloody noses and knife wounds.
  • Gynecological effects include vaginal stretching, miscarriages, stillbirths, bladder infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and infertility.
  • Short-term psychological effects include PTSD, anxiety, shock, intense fear, depression and suicidal ideation.
  • Long-term psychological effects include disordered sleeping, disordered eating, depression, intimacy problems, negative self-images, and sexual dysfunction.

Research indicates a lack of responsiveness to marital rape survivors on behalf of service providers - particularly police officers, religious leaders, rape crisis counselors, and battered women's advocates. There is a need for those who come into contact with marital rape survivors to comprehensively address this problem and provide resources, information and support to survivors.


Matchmaker - Fiddler on the Roof




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