crying woman battered 88.
(photo credit: )
After undergoing two decades of alleged physical and sexual abuse at the hands of family members, a young woman from Tira known to the authorities as "S. P." was a step closer to seeing justice fulfilled Sunday, as the Central District Attorney's Office submitted a detailed indictment against five of her male relatives.
The 25-year-old woman's two brothers, grandfather, uncle and brother-in-law are all included as defendants in the indictment, which was submitted to the Petah Tikva District Court on International Women's Day and alleges that the five men systematically abused her since she was five years old.
But the 20 years of violence would have gone unnoticed by authorities if hospital employees at Kfar Saba's Meir Hospital had been less alert.
Slightly over two weeks ago, the woman arrived at the hospital for treatment of blunt trauma throughout her whole body. Suspicious that the woman was a victim of abuse, the medical teams at the hospital alerted police, who came and interviewed the woman.
S. P. told investigators that she had, in fact, been beaten by her brothers and agreed to submit an official complaint against them for physical abuse, but refused to enter a shelter for battered women.
A day later, after S. P. was released from the hospital, police called at her house when family members allegedly threatened to harm her if she refused to drop the charges against her brothers.
Police took S. P. to the local station in nearby Taiba, where her whole story slowly unfolded before the shocked ears of the local investigations officer. Dep.-Cmdr. Shai Azoulai, the Taiba station chief, said that even his most veteran interrogators had had tears in their eyes when they heard the young woman's tale.
A large portion of the allegations specifically concerns one of her two brothers. The prosecution team, led by attorney Aviv Sharon from the Central District Attorney's Office, said that over a period of years, her brother would go into her bedroom and force her to perform oral sex. One day, he threatened that if she did not comply, he would tell the whole family that she had asked him to perform the sexual acts on her.
The same brother allegedly repeatedly threatened to murder her because he suspected her of seeing a strange man, and in at least one instance he allegedly kidnapped her in his vehicle and told her that he was "taking her to her grave." In another instance, he is suspected of pouring boiling water on her face and assaulting her with a knife.
Prosecutors plan on arguing in court that her brother was not alone in turning his sister into a terrified slave to his sexual desires. Her uncle is suspected of raping her with his fingers on multiple occasions when she was between 10 and 12 years old, and her brother-in-law is suspected of performing lewd acts in front of her on multiple occasions as well. One of her brothers allegedly continued to rape her until she was 14, moving on to physical abuse after that.
Her grandfather, too, is suspected of joining in the abuse, and allegedly grabbed her breasts and tried to make her touch his genitals.
According to Azoulai, the years of abuse led S. P. to attempt suicide on a number of occasions, but the attempts did not stop the long stream of abuse. At least one of the most recent alleged beatings at the hands of her brothers occurred after S. P. spoke on a cellphone with her fiancÃ©e.
The woman's brother, uncle and brother-in-law have all been detained by police, and prosecutors are planning to argue that they should remain behind bars until the conclusion of the proceedings against them. Her grandfather has been placed under full house arrest while awaiting trial. All five of the suspects have fervently denied the allegations against them.