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Thursday, December 28, 2006

R' Horowitz on Sexual Abuse within the Orthodox Community II

R' Yakov Horowitz has posted part II of his excellent series on sexual abuse within the Orthodox community and what we can and must do to help combat it, both as parents and as a community. (Part I was mentioned previously here.)
I cannot understand why members of our community are not willing to report the criminals who are selling drugs to our kids directly to the police. This is, in my opinion, a misplaced application of the concept of mesirah. Ten years ago, I asked our leading gedolim if I should pass along information to the police regarding drug pushers. I got a unanimous psak that drug dealers have the full status of a rodef (one who poses life-threatening danger to others), and that I have not only the right, but also the obligation to do everything in my power to have them arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In my opinion, there is no substantive difference between a drug pusher and a child molester. Let the system work and let’s finally start protecting our children before there are any more shattered lives and suicides.

I think it is a terribly sad statement that an individual who sold non-kosher food in my hometown of Monsey ran for his life the moment the story broke and was not seen since, while a fiend who molested both Jewish and non-Jewish children in Boro Park is living comfortably in Jerusalem while evading extradition. ...

Incredibly, in that case, only the non-Jewish parents pressed charges.
(On a somewhat related note, I actually touched on this last point here.) Again, please read the whole thing. It's that important.

I was away when R' Horowitz announced the beginning of a new program called Bright Beginnings, and couldn't write about it. Harry Maryles already posted about it, so just head there and read R' Horowitz' letter.

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