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New York - Expressing Remorse Over Past Mishandling Of Sexual Abuse In Children, 300 Orthodox Rabbis Vow Better Protection For Victims

Published on: August 25, 2016 03:20 PM
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New York - In light of recent tragic suicides committed as a direct result of child sexual abuse, as well as other
physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences suffered by innocents in Jewish Orthodox communities and beyond, a proclamation signed by a large and diverse group of rabbis from the United States, Canada and Israel has taken a firm stand against abuse in children, acknowledging that the Jewish community has been slow to recognize incidents of molestation in the past and calls upon schools and synagogues to institute policies that will prevent sexual abuse.

The statement, signed by close to 300 Orthodox Jewish rabbis, admits that rabbis and community leaders have not always dealt effectively or appropriately with victims of child sexual abuse or their perpetrators.

Released today by David Nyer, a licensed clinical social worker, the proclamation condemns the practice of using Jewish law to prevent victims from reporting abuse and describes any attempts to ignore child sexual abuse as “harmful, contrary to Jewish law and immoral.”  Suggestions for greater safety in schools and synagogues included maximizing visibility so that children cannot be in unseen locations with adults, better screening of applicants including background checks and fingerprinting, and educating staff on recognizing and reporting possible incidents of child abuse.

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Rabbi Yosef Blau, a senior mashgiach at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, called the statement a turning point for the Jewish community.

“This petition is important because it is a statement by signed 300 different rabbonim acknowledging that sexual abuse is a crisis for our community and is one that we have not really dealt with effectively up until now,” Rabbi Blau told VIN News. “Critical to this is that our leaders in the community are not experts in sexual abuse but they are leaders, and their words set a tone in our community. Up until now the tone has been denial and defensiveness and we want to change. We acknowledge the problem; we want to deal with problem and we want to protect the most vulnerable.”

Ensuring that those who molest children are held accountable for their actions is of paramount importance, noted Rabbi Shalom Baum, president of the Rabbinical Council of America.

“Our community needs to keep stressing that we need to believe victims of abuse and we need to encourage them to report their claims immediately to the authorities,” said Rabbi Baum.

“As rabbonim we need to support the victims, even drive them to the police if necessary and find them the professional help that they deserve. We simultaneously need to advocate for the prosecution of abusers and to impose communal sanctions on them. I hope that this recent statement, combined with previous statements made by the RCA and others, leads to more actions to protect the innocent.”

Nyer spent several weeks over the summer collecting signatures for the statement, with leadership at the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America and Yeshiva University encouraging their membership to sign on.

“We had very broad based and overwhelming support and rabbis were eager to sign this proclamation given the moral imperative to safeguard our children,” said Nyer. “Rabbis who had suggestions regarding editing certain language may draft their own letters in the near future.”

Zvi Gluck, director of Amudim which deals with crisis management, applauded the effort for addressing the sensitive issue of sexual abuse in children.

“It is refreshing to see that rabbonim, community leaders and community at large are finally starting to take these matters very seriously,” said Gluck. “While we still have much work ahead of us, it gives those of us in the trenches the chizuk to continue fighting the good fight.”

Some of the proclamation’s prominent signers include: Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Beth Din, Beth Din of America, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, RCA, Rabbi Shalom Baum, President, RCA, Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO, OU Kosher, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive VP Emeritus, OU, Rabbi Marc Penner, Dean, RIETS, YU, Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, Dean Emeritus, RIETS, YU, Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, Rabbi, Young Israel of West Hempstead, NY, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, GA.

The proclamation and the complete list of signatories can be viewed here


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Read Comments (41)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 25, 2016 at 03:22 PM Anonymous Says:

All smoke and mirrors. Don't believe this for one second.

2

 Aug 25, 2016 at 03:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Not one leader/rabbi from the heimisha/chassidh comunity in the tri state area?!? Perhaps they weren't asked to sign?
Or the problem doesn't exist there? Pls enlighten us

3

 Aug 25, 2016 at 03:51 PM geekster Says:

Thank you and Mazel Tov! Maybe its time we unite all Jews in order to bring the redemption. Maybe its time not just to "handle things differently" but to handle ourselves differently. To stop judging each other like we have for so many years because we believe so and so is not as religious as you are or whatever the case may be. we have to start accepting each other simply because we are all GODs children and GOD will judge you how you treat his other children over what you proclaim to be the right derech. lets re-unite for all of GOD's children for sephardim, for ashkenazim, for anyone any everyone simply for the fact that they we are all children of GOD. enough already!

4

 Aug 25, 2016 at 04:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Just make sure that while protecting victims we also protect those that are accused but not yet found guilty. Its not mutually exclusive and both can be done at the same time. Just as an anaimal who abuses a child ruins the child's life forever, so too one who brings forth false claims ruins the accuseds' family and life forever. And once accused of such a heinous crime its impossible to win the case because jurors are so touched by the thought of such a crime being commited. So ensuring a fair trial for the accuser and maing ure he ahs the legal fees to fight it is also crucial at times

5

 Aug 25, 2016 at 04:16 PM Israeli Says:

Are there ANY Chassidishe Rabbis who signed?

6

 Aug 25, 2016 at 04:30 PM Texas_Joe Says:

I wonder if there is even one Litvisher Rosh HaYeshiva or Chassidishe Rebbe who signed. Where can we get the full list?

7

 Aug 25, 2016 at 04:41 PM curious Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Not one leader/rabbi from the heimisha/chassidh comunity in the tri state area?!? Perhaps they weren't asked to sign?
Or the problem doesn't exist there? Pls enlighten us

Agreed! I just think that they were asked to sign but declined to do so.

8

 Aug 25, 2016 at 04:56 PM Yudel Shain Says:

This happened only because Paul Mendelowitz and UOJ didn't give up.
Corruption hates transparency.

9

 Aug 25, 2016 at 05:17 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Just make sure that while protecting victims we also protect those that are accused but not yet found guilty. Its not mutually exclusive and both can be done at the same time. Just as an anaimal who abuses a child ruins the child's life forever, so too one who brings forth false claims ruins the accuseds' family and life forever. And once accused of such a heinous crime its impossible to win the case because jurors are so touched by the thought of such a crime being commited. So ensuring a fair trial for the accuser and maing ure he ahs the legal fees to fight it is also crucial at times

Can you please point to just one case where the accused was found tottaly innocent?

10

 Aug 25, 2016 at 05:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
bubii Says:

Can you please point to just one case where the accused was found tottaly innocent?

While I know quite a few of these signers, nice people, deserving of honor, most of these are not the movers or shakers of the mainstream Torah community, neither Litvish nor Chassidish. This document is pleasing to the eye, but carries far less weight than the subject warrants.

11

 Aug 25, 2016 at 05:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
bubii Says:

Can you please point to just one case where the accused was found tottaly innocent?

Your comment is emotionally driven, but intellect free.

The number of accusations that never make it to trial is significant. Go query the authorities if you like. No, it's not because witnesses were threatened and afraid to testify (though that has happened). It is because there have been baseless accusations made for a variety of reasons, including those made in divorces, as well as others who are vengeful. I have first hand knowledge of several such cases. They may not be everyday occurrences, but are not rare. Being in denial of that is as ignorant as denying the incidence of abuse.

Pointing to a single case would involve disclosing names of innocent people who have been convicted by advocates who have proven to be as bloodthirsty as they are dedicated to protecting children. I know names, and would never share them.

12

 Aug 25, 2016 at 05:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Just make sure that while protecting victims we also protect those that are accused but not yet found guilty. Its not mutually exclusive and both can be done at the same time. Just as an anaimal who abuses a child ruins the child's life forever, so too one who brings forth false claims ruins the accuseds' family and life forever. And once accused of such a heinous crime its impossible to win the case because jurors are so touched by the thought of such a crime being commited. So ensuring a fair trial for the accuser and maing ure he ahs the legal fees to fight it is also crucial at times

How exactly is it mutually possible? It's the nature of this crime that when somebody gets accused he gets ridiculed. Otherwise you have to keep it quiet and how well have we gone through that direction these years? If c"v somebody is making a false accusation he should go to jail. But we all know that's very rarely the case

13

 Aug 25, 2016 at 06:04 PM $4 Says:

Reply to #9  
bubii Says:

Can you please point to just one case where the accused was found tottaly innocent?

Well accused found totally innocent is a tough one. Because once the jury even considers that you did such a dispicable act you are automatically guilty. But I can point to cases where I know specifically that the charges were fabricated. But our judical system is corrupt and is based on emotions.

14

 Aug 25, 2016 at 06:22 PM savtat Says:

Rabbi Horowitz of Monsey once came to give a talk about this at my school. He encourages parents to educate their children as to what is innapropriate. He says children as young as 3 understand what would be innapropriate. And, he encourages people to tell their children that if anyone says to a child "Don't tell your mother or father", the child should immediately tell the parents and be sure that the parent will give the child a reward. The best protection is to educate the children.

15

 Aug 25, 2016 at 06:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Just make sure that while protecting victims we also protect those that are accused but not yet found guilty. Its not mutually exclusive and both can be done at the same time. Just as an anaimal who abuses a child ruins the child's life forever, so too one who brings forth false claims ruins the accuseds' family and life forever. And once accused of such a heinous crime its impossible to win the case because jurors are so touched by the thought of such a crime being commited. So ensuring a fair trial for the accuser and maing ure he ahs the legal fees to fight it is also crucial at times

Obviously from your spelling, you are a hasid. Most little kids who are abused don't make this up. A three year old in the mikva who is fondled is telling the truth.

16

 Aug 25, 2016 at 08:14 PM StevenWright Says:

Reply to #9  
bubii Says:

Can you please point to just one case where the accused was found tottaly innocent?

Probably not. Because the media will only report the sensational arrest and charges. The rarely report the "oops we were wrong".

17

 Aug 25, 2016 at 08:15 PM Sad parent Says:

Now that YU is spearheading this campain, perhaps they will now fire, or unhire, phil goldfeder from the position they awarded him. He turned a blind eye to the parents and victim of a child molested by one of his constituents, because it would not have gotten his stupid face on the front page of the paper. I know this intimately........trust me! I am the childs parent.

18

 Aug 25, 2016 at 09:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Daily the toddlers in new square are molested and parents are helpless. If they say one word, they are reminded of Rothenberg.

19

 Aug 25, 2016 at 09:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Obviously from your spelling, you are a hasid. Most little kids who are abused don't make this up. A three year old in the mikva who is fondled is telling the truth.

Please say it's not true that these people take 3 year olds to the mikva.

20

 Aug 25, 2016 at 10:15 PM #4 Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

Obviously from your spelling, you are a hasid. Most little kids who are abused don't make this up. A three year old in the mikva who is fondled is telling the truth.

Wrong I am not a hasid and a college educated professional. As a side nite spelling is no longer important in the corporate world where everything is shorthand emails . Now to the main topic my 3 year old makes up tons of stories . She is actually a great liar .

21

 Aug 26, 2016 at 01:38 AM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #20  
#4 Says:

Wrong I am not a hasid and a college educated professional. As a side nite spelling is no longer important in the corporate world where everything is shorthand emails . Now to the main topic my 3 year old makes up tons of stories . She is actually a great liar .

Your 3 year old makes up stories of being sexually abused?!?!?!?

22

 Aug 26, 2016 at 05:26 AM Shlomo-1 Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Just make sure that while protecting victims we also protect those that are accused but not yet found guilty. Its not mutually exclusive and both can be done at the same time. Just as an anaimal who abuses a child ruins the child's life forever, so too one who brings forth false claims ruins the accuseds' family and life forever. And once accused of such a heinous crime its impossible to win the case because jurors are so touched by the thought of such a crime being commited. So ensuring a fair trial for the accuser and maing ure he ahs the legal fees to fight it is also crucial at times

Study after study have shown that false accusations of sexual abuse by children are rare. This isn't to say that there shouldn't be protections nor that the rate is 0% just that it is very uncommon.
Additionally, when there are cases (McMartin comes to mind) they highlight the need for proper training in conducting an investigation of sexual abuse of children.

23

 Aug 26, 2016 at 08:39 AM BeenThereNJ Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

All smoke and mirrors. Don't believe this for one second.

Agree. In fact sometimes talk is worse than not talking, because it can fool people into thinking that they 'already did' by talking, and presto problem is 'solved'! ..and nothing was done.
Lo HaMedrash HaIkar Ela Hamaaseh.
Bottom line Emor Me'at V'Aseh Harbeh.
Need clear action taken and public united denouncement of child molesters, regardless their religious garb and affiliation, prior to having anyone convinced.
Talk is cheap.

24

 Aug 26, 2016 at 08:40 AM shimonyehuda Says:

Reply to #20  
#4 Says:

Wrong I am not a hasid and a college educated professional. As a side nite spelling is no longer important in the corporate world where everything is shorthand emails . Now to the main topic my 3 year old makes up tons of stories . She is actually a great liar .

my father used to say "a professor without brains"

25

 Aug 26, 2016 at 08:08 AM the details Says:

many have asked why there arent the mainstream rabonim listed (for lack of a better term)? its in the details , everyone is anti children getting used and hurt! BUT handling allegations ( probaly true)needs precision,accuracy nothing less than a surgery ( bimei chazal killing an ox that gored a human needs a beisdin of 23!! secondly not all of the wrng touching gets the death penalty not all inappropiate action means you bring in the firing squad at the first . the facts are clea rav moshe , rav pam .DIDNT REPORT (aside from one story).they. knew many cases of molestation and it is for 3 reasons that they didnt report; yiddin bounced back after the holocaust and the onus was on the victim to get help and get back on his feet ( the perpetrator will get his... so arrest to make the victim heal has no place in yiddishkeit / because it was dinei nefashos with eternal ramifications and needed a beis din of at least zayin , edus, kattan..../the number one tool is educating children about boundries & there should be help avail for those suffering from perverted tendencies

26

 Aug 26, 2016 at 08:19 AM InsideOne Says:

After a decade of courageously bringing these issues to light, all of the vilified "rabble rousers" who blogged about this issue should be honorees at our mosdos dinners.

As is obvious however from the lack of a single participant from those worlds, the chasidish and yeshivish world's remain in utter denial.

While terribly belated, at least the YU and Modern Orthodox world has finally shown the cojones to loudly break away from the degenerate frumme world with this announcement.

Maybe I can begin to consider myself orthodox again.

27

 Aug 26, 2016 at 10:40 AM Realist77 Says:

I applaud the Rabbis that had the courage to publicly sign this document against the protection of abusers. As a therapist, I have treated many adults that as children were abused (sexually, physically, verbally) and the family was unable to contact the authorities because they were not permitted by their rabbis.
he times are thankfully changing and parents are now contacting authorities despite rabbinic opposition to put a stop to the abuse. The long term effects of the abuse is astounding. They do not just get over it. Depression ( suicide), anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse are some of the effects abused children and adults have to live with.

28

 Aug 26, 2016 at 11:22 AM #4 Says:

Reply to #21  
The_Beadle Says:

Your 3 year old makes up stories of being sexually abused?!?!?!?

Of other kids playing with her parts. yes some times.

29

 Aug 26, 2016 at 11:46 AM BeenThereNJ Says:

Reply to #25  
the details Says:

many have asked why there arent the mainstream rabonim listed (for lack of a better term)? its in the details , everyone is anti children getting used and hurt! BUT handling allegations ( probaly true)needs precision,accuracy nothing less than a surgery ( bimei chazal killing an ox that gored a human needs a beisdin of 23!! secondly not all of the wrng touching gets the death penalty not all inappropiate action means you bring in the firing squad at the first . the facts are clea rav moshe , rav pam .DIDNT REPORT (aside from one story).they. knew many cases of molestation and it is for 3 reasons that they didnt report; yiddin bounced back after the holocaust and the onus was on the victim to get help and get back on his feet ( the perpetrator will get his... so arrest to make the victim heal has no place in yiddishkeit / because it was dinei nefashos with eternal ramifications and needed a beis din of at least zayin , edus, kattan..../the number one tool is educating children about boundries & there should be help avail for those suffering from perverted tendencies

Sheer nonsense. Lo Saamod Al Dam Reachah applies to sexually abused victims. A molester is a Rodef. Your lomdus is far removed for Yiddishkeit, Torah and logic for that matter.

30

 Aug 26, 2016 at 12:40 PM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

Reply to #28  
#4 Says:

Of other kids playing with her parts. yes some times.

Umm, this sounds like you should be very very concerned. It is known that some children are molesters even at a young age. I would believe your child, and please get some help and advice on this from competent people. Take this very VERY seriously! I am concerned for your child.

31

 Aug 26, 2016 at 12:41 PM chana k Says:

Reply to #22  
Shlomo-1 Says:

Study after study have shown that false accusations of sexual abuse by children are rare. This isn't to say that there shouldn't be protections nor that the rate is 0% just that it is very uncommon.
Additionally, when there are cases (McMartin comes to mind) they highlight the need for proper training in conducting an investigation of sexual abuse of children.

Although "Study after study have shown that false accusations of sexual abuse by children are rare. " those studies are of young children. Not young teens, and especially not teenagers.

32

 Aug 26, 2016 at 12:49 PM Bi-Stander Says:

Reply to #9  
bubii Says:

Can you please point to just one case where the accused was found tottaly innocent?

This is his point. That once accused he has NO CHANCE to proof his innocence, with the existent system.

33

 Aug 26, 2016 at 03:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
geekster Says:

Thank you and Mazel Tov! Maybe its time we unite all Jews in order to bring the redemption. Maybe its time not just to "handle things differently" but to handle ourselves differently. To stop judging each other like we have for so many years because we believe so and so is not as religious as you are or whatever the case may be. we have to start accepting each other simply because we are all GODs children and GOD will judge you how you treat his other children over what you proclaim to be the right derech. lets re-unite for all of GOD's children for sephardim, for ashkenazim, for anyone any everyone simply for the fact that they we are all children of GOD. enough already!

You have to start making sense and speak to the topic. Vague slogans like calling for unity are worthless.

34

 Aug 29, 2016 at 01:09 AM Sherree Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Not one leader/rabbi from the heimisha/chassidh comunity in the tri state area?!? Perhaps they weren't asked to sign?
Or the problem doesn't exist there? Pls enlighten us

I recognized quite a few Rabbonim who signed this.

35

 Aug 29, 2016 at 01:24 AM Sherree Belsky Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

While I know quite a few of these signers, nice people, deserving of honor, most of these are not the movers or shakers of the mainstream Torah community, neither Litvish nor Chassidish. This document is pleasing to the eye, but carries far less weight than the subject warrants.

We have to start somewhere. This is huge compared to where we began. And lets not forget to thank Dr. Asher Lipner PhD who started a similar campaign and petition before Yom Kippur of 2008 with similar wording and the same platform of "Al tamod al dam re'eicha". Thank you Asher for beginning the "pull your heads out of the sand" movement.

Think about this, 300 Rabbonim from US, Canada and Israel, signing this declaration gives victims and their families the clout they need to "report" misconduct. This is already on top of R' Eliyashuv's Z"tl psak and that of many Litvish Brooklyn Rabbonim. If you go through the entire list of names you will see the name of Rabbi Berel Wein, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger (Chassidish) - Aish - Woodmere, Rabbi Moshe Hauer - Baltimore and others.

Don't be so quick to deny the level or madreigah of these Rabbonim, nor the level of influence they have. This is just a start, there will be others to follow without a doubt. In any case, any victim will have the encouragement of this document with 300 Rabbinic signatures to feel safe enough to report the crime. On the other hand, if YOUR Rabbi did not sign this it is up to you to find out why not.

36

 Aug 29, 2016 at 01:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Your comment is emotionally driven, but intellect free.

The number of accusations that never make it to trial is significant. Go query the authorities if you like. No, it's not because witnesses were threatened and afraid to testify (though that has happened). It is because there have been baseless accusations made for a variety of reasons, including those made in divorces, as well as others who are vengeful. I have first hand knowledge of several such cases. They may not be everyday occurrences, but are not rare. Being in denial of that is as ignorant as denying the incidence of abuse.

Pointing to a single case would involve disclosing names of innocent people who have been convicted by advocates who have proven to be as bloodthirsty as they are dedicated to protecting children. I know names, and would never share them.

I believe that the more people get involved in such a situation the more complicated it gets therefore, any type of situation should be reported to either one's physician or attorney and then straight to the police. it should not be discussed with neighbors and friends who mean well but will confuse you wilth information you are not yet ready to hear. The police officers are trained in this area and you should go with a trusting and caring person which might be your mother, sister,brother, aunt, best friend,father,teacher mentor or rav. The person you choose should be your one true back up person, the on you could trust, who is wiling to listen to you support you, then listen to professional and here what they sayin order to have a friend or family member help you understand what you are hearing and help you decide what steps you should take in this regard. The police are trained to question you and take your statements but some of the things they ask or say might feel frightening or hurtful, so having someone else there will be easier if there are two of you there both involved and both remembering.

37

 Aug 29, 2016 at 06:52 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

I believe that the more people get involved in such a situation the more complicated it gets therefore, any type of situation should be reported to either one's physician or attorney and then straight to the police. it should not be discussed with neighbors and friends who mean well but will confuse you wilth information you are not yet ready to hear. The police officers are trained in this area and you should go with a trusting and caring person which might be your mother, sister,brother, aunt, best friend,father,teacher mentor or rav. The person you choose should be your one true back up person, the on you could trust, who is wiling to listen to you support you, then listen to professional and here what they sayin order to have a friend or family member help you understand what you are hearing and help you decide what steps you should take in this regard. The police are trained to question you and take your statements but some of the things they ask or say might feel frightening or hurtful, so having someone else there will be easier if there are two of you there both involved and both remembering.

Good advice. But truly the best advice is "parents" have to listen to understand and believe their children. Children should not fear telling their parents anything, and should never keep secrets from them.

38

 Aug 30, 2016 at 02:58 AM Sherree Says:

Reply to #25  
the details Says:

many have asked why there arent the mainstream rabonim listed (for lack of a better term)? its in the details , everyone is anti children getting used and hurt! BUT handling allegations ( probaly true)needs precision,accuracy nothing less than a surgery ( bimei chazal killing an ox that gored a human needs a beisdin of 23!! secondly not all of the wrng touching gets the death penalty not all inappropiate action means you bring in the firing squad at the first . the facts are clea rav moshe , rav pam .DIDNT REPORT (aside from one story).they. knew many cases of molestation and it is for 3 reasons that they didnt report; yiddin bounced back after the holocaust and the onus was on the victim to get help and get back on his feet ( the perpetrator will get his... so arrest to make the victim heal has no place in yiddishkeit / because it was dinei nefashos with eternal ramifications and needed a beis din of at least zayin , edus, kattan..../the number one tool is educating children about boundries & there should be help avail for those suffering from perverted tendencies

You CAN'T compare victims of molestation to Holocaust victims.
Every victim thinks he is alone and doesn't know why he or she was "chosen". Holocaust victims went through the horrors together knowing very well why they were chosen. They were victimized together, helped each other get through and over it together. They didn't keep their secrets to themselves to just suffer in silence and just find a way to get over it. Everyone knew.

Our past Gedolei Hador did not have the magnitude of knowledge or ability to follow any victim, short term or long term to recognize the effects the molestation had on them. They didn't have the expertise from Frum therapists to explain to them that kids are not "resilient" when it comes to these issues and they can't just jump back to normal and get over it. They did not understand how to watch out for the signs that these kids were changing and hurting desperately inside. They did not have the resources to send kids to frum therapists to help them through such trauma. So please DO NOT COMPARE the actions and the ways things were done back then to what knowledge is now available to be used in these situations to help form a proper psak.

39

 Aug 30, 2016 at 03:00 AM Sherree Belsky Says:

Reply to #27  
Realist77 Says:

I applaud the Rabbis that had the courage to publicly sign this document against the protection of abusers. As a therapist, I have treated many adults that as children were abused (sexually, physically, verbally) and the family was unable to contact the authorities because they were not permitted by their rabbis.
he times are thankfully changing and parents are now contacting authorities despite rabbinic opposition to put a stop to the abuse. The long term effects of the abuse is astounding. They do not just get over it. Depression ( suicide), anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse are some of the effects abused children and adults have to live with.

The more reports are filed, the more scared these molesters will be to but their needs into actions. If they are afraid they will be reported they might look for therapy instead of hurting others.

40

 Aug 30, 2016 at 03:04 AM Sherree Belsky Says:

Reply to #27  
Realist77 Says:

I applaud the Rabbis that had the courage to publicly sign this document against the protection of abusers. As a therapist, I have treated many adults that as children were abused (sexually, physically, verbally) and the family was unable to contact the authorities because they were not permitted by their rabbis.
he times are thankfully changing and parents are now contacting authorities despite rabbinic opposition to put a stop to the abuse. The long term effects of the abuse is astounding. They do not just get over it. Depression ( suicide), anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse are some of the effects abused children and adults have to live with.

One more very serious disease that sprouts from this issue is Eating Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or the opposite which is over eating. Both can be very dangerous and deadly.

41

 Aug 30, 2016 at 03:11 AM Sherree Belsky Says:

Reply to #22  
Shlomo-1 Says:

Study after study have shown that false accusations of sexual abuse by children are rare. This isn't to say that there shouldn't be protections nor that the rate is 0% just that it is very uncommon.
Additionally, when there are cases (McMartin comes to mind) they highlight the need for proper training in conducting an investigation of sexual abuse of children.

You are 1,000% correct na. And most especially when parents are extremely honest and sincere with their children. When they are taught the dangers of such people, and then know when its appropriate that filing a claim with the police will help to stop this person. The way they do it is by having a professional investigator speak and question the victim and then they do the same with the abuser. Many times they can find other victims of the same abusers. The police are experts at finding the truth and making things right.

When kids understand that they don't just get to make an accusation and the person they accuse just gets in trouble, they don't put themselves through the stress of retelling their stories to the authorities and being scrutinized and questioned. The have too much to loose to just make things up. In addition, things change for children when they are traumatized and the investigators will ask the parents about specific changes that they might have noticed in their child's life patterns. They are the experts, they know what to ask, and they know the patterns to look for.

42

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