Dear Rabbi Eidensohn,
I noticed that in your latest "mission statement" you state:
"...At the present time I am writing a source book dealing with the issue of child and wife abuse."
What about husbands, are they never abused? I would like to offer a suggestion and some reasons for it and I hope that you can act on it. Firstly, I would like to point out to you a blatant error on your part based on simple pure Torah hashkofa. And that is, that when HKB"H created Chava FROM Adam, the Torah says that she is to be an "ezer kenegdo" and as you know the chazal teach as reported by Rashi "ezer kenegdo" means that if the man/husband is zocheh she/the wife is an "ezer" and if not she will be "kenegdo". Thus, from this yesod we learn that there is a symbiotic interplay between a man/husband's zechusim and the woman/wife he gets, and that the woman is perfectly capable of being the cause of the downfall of a man/husband....
Secondly, another key lesson is from the events of the chet of Adam HaRishon, that it was Chava who brought about his downfall, after she was seduced (and raped) by the nachash, and in turn she and all womankind was cursed by HKB"H to be subservient to her husband as the posuk says "v'el isheich teshukoseich vehu yimshol bach".
The Torah says that the correct order is for the man/husband to rule his family and for the wife/woman to follow (of course, we know that the Torah then elevates women as in all the examples of the Imahos) but Torah Judaism does not subscribe to modern women's liberation and its various pro-women egalitarian agendas simply because it is not needed in a true Torah society and you should not, even inadvertently, be feeding into that current of advocating only for women/wives when it is a two way street and both men/husbands and women/wives need to be reminded EQUALLY how to respect each other and not abuse each other and to be respectful spouses.
Thirdly, you seem to be falling into the politically correct trap of only speaking out as an advocate for females/wives, when men/husbands need advocates as much as their female counterparts, just that men differ from women biologically as you know, so the focus is different. While women lack men's physical strength they are nevertheless fully capable of inflicting damaging and irreparable harm and pain on men in other emotional, mental and social ways.
Finally, as a psychologist you should be fully aware of the various non-verbal and sub-conscious ways that ALL women operate in all spheres and that when it comes to couples counseling the given principle, no matter what the present issues may seem to be between a couple, is that it is ALWAYS assumed to be 50-50 and in any problem between any couple the key is to accurately identify/diagnose and successfully cure (if possible) the source of the friction that the couple is creating between them as it never comes from the man/husband alone or vice versa. The couple is one unit and they are each other's spouses
Examples of husband and male abuse by women/wives in Orthodox and Haredi society can come in various ways, such as:1) Following outside society's immorality and slipping into infidelity and cheating on their husbands and hence producing mamzerim and the husbands who are fooled into thinking that a child is theirs when its not.
2) Siding with an outside person to "triangulate" against the husband, by aligning with interfering parents, nosy and busybody therapists, rebbetzins, rosh yeshivas or mashpi'im and friends who may be advising the woman to confront her husband and seek a divorce or alimony as weapons.
3) Ganging up with the children against the father and undermining his role as the "rosh hamishpocha" with devastating results for the father's ability to discipline his children and leading to his loss of self-esteem as a father and provider and maybe causing the father to lash out against his children when he is really trying to get at his wife but is afraid of her. This continues even after divorce where child custody is made difficult by the mother's (the ex-wife) actions alone and in demanding hefty divorce settlements in "gold-digger" style!
4) Cases of physical abuse also abound where women/wives react physically with either temper
tantrums, screaming, breaking objects and even hitting the children and the husband, all of which does happen and is recorded
5) Extreme cases where women attack their husbands violently, such as the "Lorena Bobbit case" (not Jewish I admit, but it is a threat) where she castrated her husband while he slept, or the recent case of a Jewish Bucharin woman in NYC jailed for life because she had hired a hit man to kill her husband over a child custody dispute and he did. There are many cases where it is the mothers who are abusing the children as well as abusing their husbands all in one stream of action.
Therefore I hope I have made my point and I strongly suggest that you remove the word "wife abuse" and replace it with "spouse abuse" or "spousal abuse" that shows your neutrality in the matter and that in your research and source book you will also include the subject of how husbands can be and are abused by their wives, often in collusion with an outside person against the husband resulting in husband abuse that leads to troubled relationships, broken marriages, divorces, transgression of Halacha and even criminal acts and proceedings where the wife/woman is the guilty party and the husband/man is the innocent victim.
Thanks for your comments. Originally I was planning on doing spousal abuse as well as bullying of children etc. The issue came down to the fact that there is a lot of solid material in halachic sources for physical and sexual abuse - but very little dealing with the issue of psychological abuse which is more typical for husbands. There are cases of husband's being beaten - but it is not the typical case.