Thursday, December 21, 2006

R' Horowitz on Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Community

R' Yakov Horowitz's latest piece is up, this one discussing the prevalency of sexual abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community, and what parents and communities must do (and must not do) to protect their children. Excerpt: [emphasis mine]
By virtue of the moral compass of our Torah and the nature of our sheltered society, we have a lower percentage of these issues than the general population. Less, but not none. Unfortunately, the nature of this challenge is that less turns to more – exponentially – the longer that we ignore these issues. This is true all the more so in the case of abuse since untreated victims are far more likely to abuse others.

To address your first question of, “How prevalent is abuse in our community?” my response is that it is far more prevalent than we care to accept or believe. I assure you that things will not improve until we gather the energy and courage to change the culture of denial and stop the destructive habit of hoping that problems will self-correct and go away. I am equally certain that if we do not act to eradicate abuse from our community, others will continue to do it for us in very public and embarrassing ways.

There's a lot more on different aspects of the subject. Read the whole thing.