Saturday, April 2, 2016

Child Sexual Abuse in Community Rampant, Audience Told

Meyer Seewald, co-founder of Jewish Community Watch
Jews must put aside fear of shaming their community, their families and themselves, as well as perceived prohibitions of turning to secular authorities, to fight a growing wave of child sexual abuse, speakers told an audience at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation.

Speakers addressing a packed sanctuary on March 31 made blunt, often harrowing assessments of childhood sexual abuse in Jewish communities, saying the problem is rampant and is too often ignored or denied outright.

There was a large Orthodox contingent in attendance, and speakers stressed that Orthodox and chassidic communities offer much resistance to dealing with the sexual abuse of children. It is time to end the silence, they said.

MC Benny Forer, a graduate of Ner Israel Yeshiva north of Toronto, and now a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles,  recounted how his best friend had been sexually abused and killed himself on Yom Kippur in 1993.

There is an “astonishing” amount of sexual abuse in Jewish circles, Forer said. “We have to stand up and say this is unacceptable.”  (more...)


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