Thursday, December 11, 2008

Abuse Progress?

Another abuse case in Brooklyn, this time in broad daylight, is at least making things happen, though with troubling side aspects. A young Chassidic girl was molested by a Chassidic man after he got her into his house by asking for help with something, in the middle of the day, in Borough Park.
According to State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has championed the cause of abuse victims in recent months, the family first reported the incident to his office. They then contacted four community rabbonim to ask whether they were halachically permitted to report the perpetrator to the authorities. Three rabbonim allegedly said they didn't want to get involved. The fourth, in contrast, permitted them, and apparently strongly urged them to proceed.
Wolf discusses the rabbonim who allegedly said they didn't want to get involved, wondering how they could do such a thing. After the fourth Rav's proper guidance, the family contacted the police and the man was arrested and charged by the Kings County DA, Charles Hynes. In an interview, Hynes argues that he's finding the Orthodox community is cooperating, which seems odd in light of this case, where it took four Rabbonim before one said to go to the police. Perhaps he means they don't actively hide things once the police are involved - which is all fine and well - but there seems to be much room for progress within the Orthodox Jewish community. R' Horowitz has a great piece in this week's Jewish Press on why he writes about abuse; please read the whole thing. In addition, the following news clips (hit expand) from WPIX are interesting if only because of some of the reasons people don't report abuse, such as a girl who was molested by her father for years who simply didn't know any better.