In Jewish divorce law, both parties must consent to the granting of the divorce document called a get. When one party refuses to participate in the get process, the other party cannot remarry. Experts in the field of abuse and trauma have classified the refusal to issue a get as a form of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse, at its core, is about control, and a get-refuser control’s the personal freedoms and future of the aggrieved party. A woman who is denied a get by her husband is called an agunah.
In September 2011, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada issued a seruv, an order of contempt, against Friedman for his refusal to appear at their beit din, rabbinic court, in order to issue a get.
The seruv states that Friedman is regarded as one who does not heed Jewish law, and therefore, "any person who has the ability or opportunity to influence him to free Tamar Epstein from the chains of her agunah status is obligated to do so."