Friday, January 14, 2005

Harassment, Extortion and other Lovely Forms of Silencing Survivors

It's unbelievable what someone who has been sexually victimized has to put up with in our society (Not just the Jewish world). What do you do if your offender has clout? What do you do if your offender is a highly respected citizen? What do you do if your offender is a rabbi? Who will listen to you? I'm hoping that individuals will share their experiences with what happened when they sought help and or tried to help a survivor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one believed me in the beginning. It was my word against my teacher. My parents told me I was lying. I was grounded for a month. I was forced to go back to school. Finally a few months later another girl made a complaint to her parents. Her parents called the police, who called in child protection. All the girls in my class were questioned. That's when the someone listened to me. I was then taken to a special place where a team of people interviewed me. They collected evidence and that is when I learned I had a form of VD. How many 8 year old girls have syphilis? A few of the other girls also were diagnosed.

There was so much pressure from our community to stop those from testifying. Everyone loved our teacher. No one wanted to even believe the evidence. At least the judge and jury believed what was presented and he went to jail.

January 14, 2005 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure I can safely talk about all of the damaging ways that I have been silenced. My abuser has clout and is probably still abusing. He is being protected by rabbi's all over the country who know about him but refuse to believe/do anything. Instead they say that I as well as others who accuse him are crazy/not credible. sometimes I think of going public with my story. I know that if I do they will try to intimidate and villinize me and my family, but I think it is a huge problem in the orthodox community and the only way to make a change is for survivors to speak out and not be intimidated, bullied, and threatened into silence.

January 15, 2005 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I went public about the rabbi who abused me (who was not so prominent), his main defender/supporter was someone of influence.
The amazing thing, I later learned, was that this friend/supporter had been aware for many years of this rabbis' abuse and manipulation of many, many women.
His vicious attacks on those who spoke up were amazing.
I simply don't understand, how those who support these people and have heard similar complaints from many sources and over many years, can continue to defend them and not even assert any influence they have to encourage their 'friend' to seek help.
To me these people are enablers, and I hope they do not sleep well at night.

January 15, 2005 9:05 PM  
Blogger Avi said...

as a community we like to think that we are perfect. We are the people of "Book" so how could we possibly have these problems? I am an orthodox Jewish man and I truly believe that we must stand up and stop the biased and close minded thinking that seems to be throughout our community. We have a growing problem with corruption in our midst that seems to be getting worse each day. Our Rabbis are intent on proving that all of our problems are simply the fault of the "Goyim" and yet they really miss the point. Sexual abuse is one of the horrible offenses that are confronting today. There are many other problems as well. Corruption in ANY form is completely unacceptable in the life of a Torah observant Jew and yet you continue to see the clowns at the Jewish Press lie about the Tendler/RCA scandal. We must stay strong and support each other as we find our way out of this darkness. The evil people who commit these acts and then try to cover them up will never know any peace. We will pursue them and expose their evil acts and we will stand strong against those sad "religious leaders" who try to keep us silent...Avi...

January 15, 2005 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucky is the survivor who has close trustworthy friends and family. but the shock and shame could blow anybody over. there needs to be more talk and education regarding abuse. i commend the bobov community that spoke about the molestation of a twelve year old who commited suicide after his abuse, about three years ago, there were public speeches given. the offender came forward as one who threatened to kill the boy if he told anyone. he apologized---too late. but the community at least came out and taught parents to be open with children no matter included ways and times to watch your children. many parents learned that you cannot send your son to the mikva alone-- only with his father. educating the public will help us prevent further problems.

January 17, 2005 9:41 PM  
Blogger Andi said...

When I told, the perpetrator quickly became furious at me attacked me emotionally by screaming at me and went around to tell everyone that I was crazy. Most believed him. Women came up to me to tell me that I was in error. His wife came up to me to apologize and said he had never done anything like that before and he must have had a bad day. Soon, people were looking at me and whispering behind their hands and avoiding me. The perpetrator then sent another guy over to me to yell at me in front of a group of people that I was just a paranoid person. I was laughed at. His friends defended him and became angry and abusive towards me. Women he knew blamed me and attacked me emotionally.

January 22, 2005 2:22 PM  

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