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.There's a lot more on different aspects of the subject. Read the whole thing.
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.
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]
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I am glad that Rabbi Horowitz is addressing this but I do have an issue with this line: " 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."ReplyDelete
I generally have issues with people saying thngs like "we as a nation are so much better than the 'goyim'" in all areas just because we are Jews (and orthodox jews to boot). I don't think that is a fair statement. Being a sexual predator is a sickness. I can hardly imagine that "By virtue of the moral compass of our Torah and the nature of our sheltered society" that would stop someone from becoming a sexual predator if they were predisposed to that lifestyle- no more than American laws or general (and rightful) non-acceptance of these people in society would. Just a thought.
I am sick.ReplyDelete
I thought long and hard (and overnight) about the particular statement that Peninah refered to. I believe that the difference in sexual abuse rates in general society and frum society (assuming this is correct) could be attributed to a lesser rate on what I will call teen on teen abuse that results from boy-girl relationships in middle and high school.ReplyDelete
I may be the only poster here that attended public school. It was a long time ago, and 9th grade, the last time there was a presentation on abuse and neglect by the crisis center, was even longer ago. But, somehow I remember them speaking about some of the cases that they dealt with (presented anon of course). On of those cases was from a girl (apparantely in our grade) who was raped by while on a data at the lake or beach with her boyfriend.
I would imagine that the differences in abuse that Rabbi Horowitz and the doctors that he consulted might lie in this demographic.
OK. I hear that. Thanks for the clarification, Sephardilady- and I actually don't think you are the only poster who went to public school...ReplyDelete
Have a great shabbos!
Good Shabbos to you to. Dont' know if I am correct, but it is plausible (or at least I hope so).ReplyDelete
Peninah - I'll go with SL's answer. I was also bothered a bit when I read it, but he clearly notes ways in which it's just as bad throughout the rest of the piece.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
Whether this is true (and it isn't, sadly. The statistics quoted by the Awareness Center in the comments to his article are tragically correct) is not relevant. R. Horowitz has to begin his call to arms with that premise, in order to keep the attention and respect of the people (ie Rabbonim) who need to hear him.
I really hope that this article generates a much-needed ripple effect in the frum world.
is not obvious .. but abuse in our community is great, just not as noticeable because it is hidden by society! is terrible!ReplyDelete