NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Orthodox Jewish woman has launched a social media campaign to help in her bid to obtain a religious divorce.
With the help of family and friends, Rivky Stein created a Facebook page and website in which she accuses her husband of years of emotional and physical abuse, including raping and beating her while she was pregnant, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“You know, I felt like a rag, but I didn’t know that that was rape,” the 24-year-old woman says in a video posted online. “I didn’t know that if I say no, because I’m married to him, you know, he could do whatever he wants to me.”
Her husband, Yoel Weiss, denies the allegations.
“No charges were ever brought, and it’s fabricated all to just make a little media attention,” Weiss, 31, told Diamond.
Weiss, who runs an Internet search engine optimization firm, said Stein rejected an offer two years ago for a “get,” or Jewish divorce, and is after his money.
Stein’s Facebook page — which had more than 5,400 likes Tuesday — and website, RedeemRivky.com, have garnered much attention in the Jewish community, where leaders say gets are often used as extortion.
Both pages claim that Stein is nearly destitute and about to be evicted from her home. It links to a site accepting donations for her, which had collected more than $16,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Stein and Weiss, who have two children together, never formally obtained a civil marriage license and instead used a Jewish marriage contract, called a “ketubah,” the New York Daily News reported. Those contracts are recognized by family court.
Under Jewish law, if a woman does not obtain a get from her husband, the couple are still married in the eyes of the community. Even if a civil court grants a divorce, the woman would be forbidden from dating or remarrying within the religion.
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