Thursday, 4 July 2013

We Must Protect Children From Abuse~Please Listen...

Image from Jewish Community Watch
For the most part, child sexual abuse has remained a "hidden crime" because of the shame that vile abusers place on their victims. Sadly, communities and families assist these criminals in their deeds. The religious community in particular has a long history of "covering up". Families are more worried that speaking out will hinder the chances of snagging a good shidduch (for the victims and their siblings), than the well-being of their own children. Known abusers are free to offend again and again because of this mentality. In the end, the victim carries the shame which usually creates lifelong disability. Many victims are placed into close proximity with their abusers, forcing them to remain silent as they enduring ongoing suffering.

After reading an article at Dixie Yid, I decided to do this post. It is the duty of everyone to speak out. If even one person sees this, seeks help, speaks up, or simply passes the message on, it is a start...

The first video is from Jewish Community Watch. Their website deals with child sexual abuse, and covers a broad area of topics from education of children and parents to exposing predators and convincing those of us within communities to "speak out" and break the silence that allows predators to function.  I was most impressed with the fact that they have implemented a "Wall of Shame", where they post the photos and information on child abusers~they are "Named and Shamed".  

NOTE: This is Not an indiscriminate attack on people. They have very strict guidelines, both under halacha and secular law that are followed. Under their Criteria section they state:

It should be noted that before the exposition of a predator, their case is brought before a board including Rabbonim, therapists and attorneys and a unanimous decision decides whether he or she will be exposed.

The site also runs Project E.M.E.S (Educating Mosdos on Eradicating Sexual abuse) which deals with overnight camps; a section for Law and Halacha; a section of resources for help (both Jewish and non-Jewish) and information for self-care for survivors. The education section has many branches beginning with one for educating your child, and prevention and effects. There is a lot of reading and information. You can also reach them on Facebook. In their Mission Statement I found this:

We must heal the wounded, create awareness within the community, and prevent the horror from being perpetrated further.

I could not agree more! One does not have to be religious or in a religious community to admit that children are at risk. Sexual predators are everywhere and they know how to choose and groom their victims. The shroud of fear and secrecy they create translates into a free pass for these abusers. It is only by educating ourselves, our children and helping them to speak out that this blight can be stopped.

The first video below is aimed at camp counselors, however, it brings up things that everyone should know and keep in mind. I could have done without the first (irritating) forty seconds or so, but then they quickly get to the grist of the subject in clear, simple language. It does not matter if you are frum or secular, if your kids go to camp or hang around the playground~it is the message that is important.

Following the first video are three more brief messages about Child Safety On The Fly, prepared by the Karasik Child Safety Initiative~Project Yes. This link leads to many resources including a one hour video in Yiddish on Speaking to Your Kids About Personal Safety.

The messages are brief and easy to understand~and a must to view and internalize. Children are the future and we must protect them now if they are have a chance to grow into productive adults. Do take a few minutes to educate yourself. Visit the websites~Then Pass The Message On!

Friendly Message for Camp Staff

Child Safety On The Fly~Part 1  

Child Safety On The Fly~Part 2  

Child Safety On The Fly~Part 3

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