Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Rosaura Torres suffered in silence for years.
The Northeast Philadelphia woman, 54, was married to a Philadelphia police officer who eventually ascended into the top ranks of the department. He beat, kicked and choked her for 16 years until one especially brutal beating left her with a detached retina that left her partially blind.
Throughout, she begged him to stop and threatened to report him.
"He made it very clear that no one would listen to me because of his position in the community," Torres said. "He said: 'No one's going to listen to you. They'll all say you're crazy.' And he was right."
She wrote a letter to city and police officials in 2001 to protest his promotion, citing his history of domestic abuse. He was promoted anyway.
The couple divorced in 2004.
The Daily News is not naming her ex-husband, who has since retired in Philadelphia and now works outside the city, because he was never criminally charged.
Since then, Torres has become an activist. She chronicled her experience in a 2010 book, Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge, and has periodically testified before lawmakers as a victim of police violence.
Torres never travels alone, fearful that her activism might incite her ex-husband and his supporters.
"It's horrible because you don't know who to trust, you don't know who's watching you," Torres said. "He still has power here in Philadelphia."
She added: "There is a unique injustice that takes place when the abuser is a police officer, because the people who should help you would rather protect him because of the title he holds.

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