Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Abuse Letters

There is an important new blog that was recently created called Abuse Letters. These are letters written by victims of abuse in the frum community to the Orthodox public. Please take a few minutes to bookmark the blog, add it to your RSS feed, and most importantly, read the letters that have been posted so far. The first letter was published (albeit very edited - please read the original) in the Yated; the second in The Jewish Star. I'm posting parts of the third letter here as an example.
Dear Mommy and Tatty,
You've probably been unable to escape the grim reality that's been darkening the pages of the various frum publications recently. You probably read the editorials, interviews and letters about the heart wrenching issue of abuse in our communities with a mixture of shock and horror. Then you turn the page and say "Baruch Hashem this isn't MY problem."

Dear Mommy and Tatty,
What would you say if I would tell you that these things are more your problem than you can imagine. What would you say if I would tell you that these things happen in your very own family? What would you say if I would tell you that my cousin, your nephew, had abused me....your daughter?

It probably hurts you to hear that your daughter is suffering, that your daughter is going through this nisayon, and she doesn't feel safe enough to tell you. Believe me Mommy and Tatty, it hurts me so much more. You think the two of us are close mommy? Believe me, the distance between us is far greater than you could ever imagine.

Dear Mommy and Tatty,
I am the model daughter, the catch in shidduchim. I'm sure it doesn't occur to you where I go each week, does it? Mommy, Tatty, I go to therapy. Yes, me, your perfect daughter. I have ten years of abuse, ten years of suffering and pain to work through. Isn't it a tragedy that I can't come to you, my parents, for help, care, love and understanding? Isn't it tragic that I endured inhumane abuse rather than face my parents and deal with their possibly negative reaction? Mommy, Tatty, the abuse went on for 10 years! Imagine if I would have felt comfortable enough to approach you years ago...perhaps it would have stopped sooner.

Imagine if we could recreate society's attitude towards abuse victims. Imagine if we would be made to understand, from an early age, that nobody will ever think we are at fault, and we would be assured acceptance regardless of our circumstances.

Imagine if instead of suffering in painful silence, I could, at long last fall into your outstretched arms....

Signed,
Your Daughter
As the site notes:
this blog is letters from people who were abused and their friends, that were sent in to various publications. some people did have help with their writing, but thoughts and feelings are all of the people who signed the letters.

if you have any letters (published as is, edited and published, or things that the papers wouldn't publish) please email them to me, at abuseletters@gmail.com

don't forget to leave your comments! survivors are checking this blog and waiting for your support!

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