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Ultra-orthodox police woman against Sexual Abuse.

Ultra-orthodox police woman works to uncover abuse in insular religious society.
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.
i24NEWS Having an insider to speak to helps create an environment where religious women feel safer to report abuses 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.“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.Representing about 10 percent of the Israeli population, the more extreme groups from the ultra-orthodox sector do not accept the authority of the secular institutions of government and do their best to avoid its law enforcement and judicial systems, relying on religious doctrine and rabbinical authorities instead.Last month, Israeli police said that more than 20 Jewish ultra-Orthodox suspected sex offenders had been arrested following an undercover investigation which revealed the great lengths members of the insular community went to in order to protect known offenders from the authorities.ultra-Orthodox Jews detained by police during marathon in Jerusalem on March 17, 2017
Mimi KaplanAs 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."The increase is a strategic decision to increase both in number and the level of ranks of women inside the Israeli national police," Israel Police Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told i24NEWS.And a more diverse and representative police force can only benefit the people it’s meant to protect.Despite the added challenge of being a woman police officer from a traditionally patriarchal community, Ardi says shes received nothing but blessings."On the streets there have been riots and pamphlets are passed out that say Jewish women should not join the military or police. But against me there hasn’t been any resistance. Some people’s jaws drop when they see me but I’ve received a lot of support."Chloe Lew is a defense correspondent with i24NEWS.

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