I would not be planning to become a rabbi if I had not experienced domestic violence as a kid. It made me determined to become a leader, so as to not allow anyone to fall through the cracks of the system and suffer behind closed doors.
It started quietly, more insidiously. It started with his putting her down, making her feel small. It began with little moments of his trying to control her. It began with the incidents my mother shrugged off, thinking that all couples argue occasionally. She put these red flags out of her mind, not even thinking of them as red flags. They’re just little blips in their marriage. She thought she could deal with them. They love each other.
Eventually, her self esteem erodes until it’s gone. The daily put-downs have eaten it away.
The moments of his trying to control her have left her living in constant fear. When the moment comes, when he physically pins her down to the floor for the first time, she flinches before his hands make contact with her body. She has been living in fear of this long before it occurred, without ever consciously knowing it.