Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sexual Abuse is a Crime, Period.

This deserves a re-post:

As a victim of abuse at the hands of a priest I can tell you that some 40 years after being molested I struggled with taking my own life. If it not for being a father an not wanting to leave a legacy of suicide i probably would have followed through.Today the laws are such most victims of abuse will never have a chance to confront their abusers or seek justice. these predators are protected by statue of limitaion laws.There is a bill before NY legislature to change this so childood victims have an opportu ity to seek justice. Both the catholic church and the majority of the Jewish communities leadership have fought to strike down this bill.

I'm borrowing (I edited it a bit) some wording from here.

All incidents of sexual abuse of a minor by anyone must be reported to civil authorities.

Sexual abuse is a crime and should always be reported to police before notifying the organization where the crime occurred.

Organization leaders will be notified at the appropriate time by investigating authorities.

One reason the Catholic Church has a sex abuse crisis is because it handled these matters internally without notifying civil authorities. Sadly, many church leaders were more interested in the reputation of the church than the welfare of victims. (Sound familiar?)

"Until the diocese adopts a policy of public transparency, the loss of trust in the church will be hard to rebuild. Crimes involving the abuse of children are of the highest priority, and these matters must be handled promptly, professionally and in the light of day by public agencies designed to do so."

-JERRY MATYSIK Chief, Eau Claire Police Department

Yes! Replace diocese with Judaism and church with shul or yeshiva or (name of Jewish youth organization). The same point is applicable.


  1. Dear Welcome Balance,
    Hello. I'm just sitting here at a computer somewhere in Australia and I discovered your blog.
    I was abused with violence in a Lubavitch family whilst a child and years later after also finding out about several of my friends who had been abused I decided to confront members of the community that I grew up in.
    The answer that I got exclusively was that sometimes parents have a hard life as no doubt I would discover when becoming a parent and that kibud av ve-aym is applicable in all situations.
    I couldn't believe my ears and confronted many members of my former community with the reality of child abuse being widespread. I got the same answer every time, in other words most if not all of the rebetzins I had known condone child abuse.Horrifying information indeed!
    Thanks for your honesty regarding this topic, it has really calmed me and I'll be looking up your blogs from now on.
    Take care,

  2. Oh, wow. ((Soutine)) I'm so sorry. Here in the States, this issue has gotten increased attention, as of late, due to a recent tragedy: Please know you are not alone.

    Following is a comment I received via email that wouldn't post, so I was asked to post it. I think the shortened hyperlink is why it wouldn't post. I expanded the link. I don't endorse the content of any comments but my own (standard disclaimer here).

    Thank you for posting this story and your comments

    The big difference is the frum world has outlasted the catholic church on the coverup by a few decades. But the wall of silence is crumbling. Last month I posted a satirical version of an in-house Agudah memo analyzing their unhappiness with the failure of the coverup. theUnorthodoxJew posted it but I have since revised it. It includes this paragraph which is pertinent to my comments.

    I think we can anticipate what happens next by looking at the Catholic Church. It is like Watergate, at some point the question became, who knew and who was involved in the cover-up. Unfortunately for the Catholics there is a large written trail. Whereas in our community it will be more complicated and ambiguous and people will start blaming each other for either misrepresenting the facts presented to rabbonim, or blaming rabbonim for forbidding mesirah, even when it should have been allowed because of the danger to the children. Of course we will keep using the business of not knowing all this data about recidivism among pedophiles. But this excuse is double edged, even as it dilutes responsibility it also reduces our credibility as competent leaders.

    Yerachmiel Lopin, FrumFollies blogger