Haredi woman in police helps deal with sexual abuse cases
Sergeant Major Nachama Ardi, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman serving in the Israeli police force, is breaking barriers in her religious community while fulfilling a crucial role working as an investigator in the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault division.We'll definitely have to give women like her credit for seeking justice.
“The whole purpose is to create a bridge and communication between the police and the ultra-orthodox community. Because the police are seen as threatening and uncooperative, the ultra-orthodox community wants someone from their own who is willing to listen and help,” Ardi tells i24NEWS.
According to the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, at least 85 percent of sexual abuse calls go unreported to the police, and this estimate is even higher for women from the ultra-orthodox community which tends to shun secular society and live according to strict religious teachings. [...]
As a woman familiar with the cultural nuances of the community, Ardi plays a key role in investigating alleged crimes against ultra-orthodox women. Having an insider to speak to helps create an environment where religious women feel safer to report abuses.
"Someone who has been sexually assaulted or assaulted at home by her husband, feels more comfortable complaining to me; she can open up as one ultra-orthodox woman to another," Ardi says.
"When women come crying to me and fall into my arms, I feel I've done my job."
While there are only several hundred religious women serving in a force of around 30,000 officers, their numbers are on the rise.
While we're on the subject, see also this older article about Rachel Freier, the first Haredi woman to serve as a judge on the NYC judicial panel.