Monday, May 22, 2006

Debating, Debating

For a while now, I've been debating. With all the allegations of abuse currently floating through the Jewish world, I've been debating. There are true stories, and there are false stories. And I keep debating...

Why am I debating? Because I know. I know the true story of one such person*. And I know the lessons we can all learn from how that person was handled. And because the consequences of not telling, of people not learning from the mistakes of others, can be devastating. But the consequences of telling can possibly hurt those who people have been protecting for years. Then again, not acting has come back to bite those people later on. Such as this past weekend. And isn't that the point anyway? That these stories must be told, to make sure they never happen again?

...And I continue debating.

* Just to be clear: This story does not involve me directly. I merely have first-hand knowledge of it.


  1. I think standards should be set in place in ALL Orthodox communites. People like UOJ have a legitimate complaint; there is a need for aggressive, even anonymous action BECAUSE of the coverup mentality that has existed for too long.

    As a potential remedy, I think there should be a Rabbinic commission that includes not only Rabbis, but Orthodox MDs, MSW's, and other mandated reporters that will be assigned to look into any allegations of sexual abuse in each Jewish Community. All members of the commission MUST agree in advance that the victim has the right to remain anonymous (outside of the actual procedings). If sexual abuse claims are deemed credible, the commission members certify that they WILL forward those findings to the appropriate secular authorities.

    In addition to the local commissions, a National Commission must be established to ensure the integrity of all the local commissions. The National Commision will have the authority to both review decisions made by local commisions as well as enforce the National operating principles.

    When this system is in place, the community must agree to ignore ALL anonymous allegations of abuse.

    The biggest flaw in this system is finding national or local comissions that are considred legitimate and binding by all segments of the Orthodox community from right to left. I think it is ceratinly worth the effort.

  2. The biggest flaw in this system is finding national or local comissions that are considred legitimate and binding by all segments of the Orthodox community from right to left. I think it is ceratinly worth the effort.

    I think this sums it up. Of course it's worth the effort: But it's hard enough to find a beis din that's untouched by corruption around here.

  3. The problem I'm having at the moment is dealing with a situation across the street. I hope you don't mind if I vent. Non-Jewish neighbors, suspected abuse situation, mother in huuuuge state of denial, we neighbors have supported her but now the mother has rejected us and is willingly letting the 6 yo spend time with the abusive crackhead father. My DD is friends with the little girl but now I (and other neighbors) will probably have to tell our daughters they can't play with the 6 yo anymore because the mother is mad at ALL the neighbors for "interfering" (we called the police tonight).

    I decided not to post this on RenReb because she's trying to transition back to sarcasm mode.

    I feel sick.

  4. :::ugh::: This stuff makes me want to throw up. What's sad is the story I'm debating whether or not to tell is far, far worse. :(

  5. It's hard to know what to say with such terrible and sensitive situations.
    I've been reading heaps and wanting to comment but I'm actually not quite sure how to say what I want to, a similar debate I guess because unfortunately, I also know of a true story and how things were dealt with in that case. I agree that something must be done and things can not go on in the same manner (prevention better than cure etc).

  6. The thing to remember is that once law enforcement and/or social services become involved, the family (or couple) will never be able to extricate themselves from the government's grip, no to mention the financial destruction that would be brought upon them.

    Law enforcement agencies routinely contact social services (child welfare) when there is spousal abuse and children are in the home. The states, through fedeal mandate, make money putting kids in foster care as they get money from both the federal government and the parents who are now required to pay child support to the state to cover the foster care of their own children. (This may vary from state to state.)

    I'm not saying that I support or oppose this practice. I am suggesting that perhaps these parents should be warned ahead of time as to the financial consequences that come from lack of restraint.

  7. Ezz...Im saying EVEN of you were able to find pristine Rabbis above corruption, their legitmcay would be challenged by those in a different segment of orthodoxy...

  8. SLA - I hear you. Though I'm talking about a case in Israel.

    DAG - I agree completely.

    Sarah - Amen.