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Recently, news broke that three women who had left the ultra-Orthodox community alleged that they were sexually assaulted by a man who also had left that community. As a woman who also left that world, I found the story devastatingly familiar.
A few years ago I co-produced an informal survey of 59 women who had gone “off the derech” (OTD). The survey was produced through SurveryMonkey and shared on the Footsteps listserv and on Facebook. We encouraged all women to take the survey, but it was clear that we were collecting data about sexual assault, which may have led to some selection bias. Nevertheless, though non-scientific, the survey was telling.
We found we OTD women had rates of sexual assault three times those of the general population. Sixty three percent of our respondents had been raped or assaulted at least twice. Twenty six percent had been raped or assaulted three or more times.
September 18, 2017