Thursday, March 31, 2005

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Under Attack For Supporting Mordechai Tendler

The following comments were posted on the Jewish Whistleblower Blog. I thought they were important and wanted to bring it to everyone's attention.

The post is referring to the recent article Congregants Stand By Rabbi Tendler - At packed synagogue meeting, he denies all RCA charges. by Debra Nussbaum Cohen.

<>Everyone who reads this blog, I want you to consider what I'm about to say.
I was just reading the article and I felt a sense of outrage.

I am so disappointed, frustrated and angry with an organization that uses the word "feminist" to describe themselves.

How can the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) turn their back on women who have been sexually victimized by a serial rapist? How many women did he commit rabbinical sexual misconduct with? Do you NOT care about them? Are you more interested in the politics of getting what you want from the RCA then you do about women being violated?

How in your right mind can you keep articles written by a man who is an obvious sex offender on your site? Don't you understand by doing so is putting unsuspecting women at risk of harm? When a woman is in a crisis situation and read articles on your site, they are more likely to believe that those people are safe. How many more women need to be sexually manipulated by Tendler, before you will take his articles off your site?

JOFA members please hear me loud and clear. If the RCA kicked Tendler out of it's organization, it should be a red flag to you to remove his articles from your site.

How can you say you care about women's issues if you allow this man's articles on your site? What are you thinking?
At 6:48 PM, jewishwhistleblower said...

>What are you thinking?

They are thinking the ends justify the means. They are more concerned with overall social objectives (which are good things) but are willing to ignore individual injustices in order to pursue the bigger objectives.

Since Rabbi Mordechai Tendler supports public views they agree with they are/were willing to ignore his explotation of women.

A similar thing occured with former Nicaraguan President and head of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, Daniel Ortega.

Some women's groups and leaders were so enthralled with his social objectives and political views, that they "tolerated" his sexual abuse of his stepdaughter. He abused her for 20 years starting when she was 11.

This abuse was an open secret amongst his circle of followers. But of course, they were more concerned with the "bigger picture".

Please contact to JOFA and let them know how you feel.

Feeling jealous and hopeless

Does anyone out there really care about how I feel? Well, if you don't you don't have to read this. I am writing it because there's no one I can talk to about this. I am jealous of people who have good things in their life such as a spouse, a good job, a nice place to live, money. I feel like I will never get any of these. I am escpecially jealous of a good friend of mine who had very good fortune as of late.

There it is. I am really feeling very hopeless since I was date raped. A commenter on a previous post said, "just follow the laws of yichud and you'll be ok". I don't keep yichud. I was raped. Oh well, I guess it's my fault. But the christian guy, he didn't rape me. It only happened with the creepy jewish guy. I don't think keeping yichud is an assurance against not getting raped. I don't either think that not keeping yichud will definitely get you raped. There is no assurance against not getting raped. It's a dangerous world. Most people are raped by someone they know. it's called date rape or acquaintance rape. Most rapists get off scott free. The survivors are left to pick up the pieces.

Is it my fault I was raped? I can't seem to shake that feeling. I feel like I wasn't protecting myself properly. I didn't fight back, I just froze. It was easier to dissociate and think "let this just be over already". Why didn't I push him away? Why did I try to go back to him afterwards?

I think I'm especially jealous of people who weren't hurt like I was. I am wallowing in my hurt. It feels good. I have these voices in my head saying different things. One voice talks to me in third person and says, "what's the matter with you, why are you always so upset" the other voice says "nothing is the matter, i'm just pretending". the other voice says "you've been very hurt and are still hurting." And so on. It's very confusing. I am so alone, not because I don't have people in my life but because I am alone inside myself. I am alone in my hurt. I don't let anyone get close. If I do, then I will be hurt really bad.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Gary Rosenblatt is Bogged Down By Bloggers

Gary Rosenblatt is Bogged Down By Bloggers

I say B'H' to bloggers like Steven I. Weiss, Luke Ford and the Jewish Whistleblower. If it wasn't for the three dedicated bloggers many stories about alleged and convicted sex offenders would go unnoticed.

Steven I. Weiss was able to expose the case of Michael Ozair.

Luke Ford was instrumental in having the voices of three survivors of Mark Gafni (AKA: Mordechai Gafni, Marc Winiarz) heard. Luke was also instrumental in telling the story of Rabbi Eleizer Eisgrau and Rabbi Yaakov Menken.

Jewish Whistleblower was instrumental in making sure the world was aware of what was really going on with the case against Rabbi Mordechai Tendler.

There's a problem with the Journalistic ethics on some of the blogs that are out there today, but I have to tell you that papers like the Jewish Week is NOT always a friend to survivors of abuse. I look at how the paper reported on the case of Mark Gafni, and then I learn from bloggers like Steven I. Weiss, Luke Ford and Jewish Whistleblower, the problem could stem from the fact that Gary Rosenblatt is a long time good friend of Rabbi Saul Berman, who is one of Gafni's strongest supporters. It also turned out that the assistant editor of the paper's sister is Naomi Marks. Another one of Gafni's supporters. Without the exposure of these facts one might believe that Gafni has done his repentance for his crimes, and all is hunky dory with the three survivors.

So read the article below, and then read the work that Steven I. Weiss, Luke Ford and the Jewish Whistleblower has done in exposing sexual abuse and assault in Jewish communities.


Bogged Down By Bloggers
Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher

Though I am getting used to it, I still find it disconcerting to read about myself –– and my journalistic motivations — on Internet blogs, especially because more often than not the information isn’t accurate. Various writers, often anonymous, claim to know what investigative stories I am working on, or not working on, and why, or why not, though none of them have ever asked me.

That’s not the way journalism is supposed to work, but there’s not much I can do about it. Over the years in this profession I’ve gotten thicker skin, but there are people whose lives are more private than mine whose reputations and character are maligned in these reports. They have no one to turn to in order to set the record straight, and that’s just not right. But it’s too late to turn back the clock on so-called progress as some hail the new age of “participatory journalism” represented by blogs.

Blogs, or more formally Web logs, are diaries or journals on the Internet to which others can reply, creating an instant and interactive environment. They are everywhere these days, covering politics to porn, and they have had a strong impact on journalism and journalistic ethics, or the lack thereof, as the rules of the game keep changing.

There is something very appealing about having one’s own blog. It’s easy to do, costs nothing, and before you know it, you can be sitting at home and pontificating on any and all topics for all the world to read, if people click on your site. Conservative estimates say there are at least a million Americans now with their own blogs. To be sure, there are some very thoughtful and worthwhile bloggers out there, and they tend to be the ones who identify themselves and have an expertise in and passion for the subjects they write about.

What bothers me, though, is that in this still emerging field, there is no accountability and there are no professional standards to be met. In the rush to get a story out first, the emphasis is on timeliness rather than accuracy, with seemingly little regard –– or responsibility –– for printing rumors or theories that are untrue. So people who are mentioned and maligned by an anonymous blogger have no recourse.

I wouldn’t seek legal or medical advice from an amateur attorney or physician who insisted on remaining nameless, yet there are countless people reading blogs on the Web by would-be journalists whose reports go unsubstantiated and unedited, and the results are often hurtful, damaging people’s characters and reputations.

Still, like it or not, bloggers have become an acceptable part of the media. For the first time, a number of them were given press credentials to cover the national political conventions last year, and some have written items that have led to major news stories. Most notable were the blog reports that resulted in Trent Lott’s resignation as Senate majority leader (for saying the United States would have been better off if segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948), and Dan Rather’s fall at CBS regarding documents, which turned out to be dubious, used to report on President Bush’s National Guard Service. In those and other cases, bloggers picked up on information the mainstream media downplayed or ignored, and kept the story alive.

There are a number of bloggers writing on Jewish news topics, with a special interest in which scandals are being reported, which aren’t, and why. The blogs written by people who identify themselves, some of whom are journalists, tend to be more responsible and informed, though even here the standards for reporting are based solely on the conscience and professionalism of the individual.

More upsetting are the bloggers who criticize individuals by name, make accusations against rabbis and communal leaders, but don’t have the guts to identify themselves, or bother to interview the people they write about.

One of the better known Jewish reporting blogs calls for “accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership,” a noble goal, indeed. But the “About me” area on the home page where the blogger usually posts some details about him or her self is empty. To demand full disclosure of others without identifying one’s self seems the height of chutzpah and hypocrisy to me.

There can be a productive relationship between responsible blogging and journalism. Amateur reporting and personal publishing has its place, emphasizing the grassroots qualities of accessibility and interactivity, and prodding journalists to do better and more enterprising work. But the heart of journalism is still in original reporting based on fairness and accuracy, where one is judged by one’s output.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think you do your best work if your reputation is on the line every time you write.


Date Rape and Dating using Jewish online dating services

I got the following email from Vicki Polin who is the executive director of The Awareness Center. I thought this could be something we discuss here, or you can email Vicki privately.

Date Rape and Dating using Jewish online dating services

The Awareness Center has had a few occasions that various survivors of sexual assault are scrolling through photo's on Jewish dating services on line, an find their alleged (or convicted) offender's photos.

One of the common dilemma survivors face is that they were assaulted on dates or people they knew. When this happens it usually turns into a he said/she said situation. Needless to say these sorts of cases are pretty difficult to prove in court.

Please keep in mind that when I'm taking about Jewish dating services I'm including,,,, etc. The Survivor's who contact The Awareness Center are from all movements in Judaism (and also those who are unaffiliated).

As a community, how do you think we should address this problem?


Please Abuse Me

Please abuse me
you taught me that is how I can be seen
and I need you to see me

Please abuse me
I need to be touched
and even though it hurts
it is better than nothing

Please abuse me
that is how you know how to love
and I need you to love me

Please abuse me
you taught me that pleasure comes with
pain and shame and humiliation
and I want to feel desired

Please abuse me
so that I will know that I am special to you
at least in some way

Please abuse me
when you molest me I feel pleasure and shame
pain and and rage
I feel alive
and more than anything
I want to exist

Please abuse me
and then kill me
so I won't have to grow up with your lessons of abuse
and suffer years trying desperately
to unlearn them

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

To the Survivors of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler

The following came from the Jewish Whistleblower Blog:

Anonymous said...

If you are a survivor of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler you might be interested in consulting with an attorney. I think there's enough evidence for a class action suit. There's an attorney who I think might represent you if there's a few of you interested.

Believe me he can't be bought by Tendler or any of his followers.

His number is 212-595-1444, ext.2

Remember there is strength in numbers. There are so many of you, I think you stand a chance.

"It Hurts" (Leaving a Cult)

I found the following article posted on the Jewish Whistleblower Blog as a comment. I thought it could be helpful many of us.

"It Hurts" (Leaving a Cult)
By Jan Groenveld

IT HURTS to discover you were deceived - that what you thought was the "one true religion," the "path to total fredom," or "truth" was in reality a cult.

IT HURTS when you learn that people you trusted implicitly - whom you were taught not to question - were "pulling the wool over your eyes" albeit unwittingly.

IT HURTS when you learn that those you were taught were your "enemies" were telling the truth after all -- but you had been told they were liars, deceivers, repressive, satanic etc and not to listen to them.

IT HURTS when you know your faith in God hasn't changed - only your trust in an organization - yet you are accused of apostasy, being a trouble maker. It hurts even more when it is your family and friends making these accusations.

IT HURTS to realize their love and acceptance was conditional on you remaining a member of good standing. This cuts so deeply you try and suppress it. All you want to do is forget - but how can you forget your family and friends?

IT HURTS to see the looks of hatred coming from the faces of those you love - to hear the deafening silence when you try and talk to them. It cuts deeply when you try and give your child a hug and they stand like a statue, pretending you aren't there. It stabs like a knife when you know your spouse looks upon you as demonised and teaches your children to hate you.

IT HURTS to know you must start all over again. You feel you have wasted so much time. You feel betrayed, disillusioned, suspicious of everyone including family, friends and other former members.

IT HURTS when you find yourself feeling guilty or ashamed of what you were - even about leaving them. You feel depressed, confused, lonely. You find it difficult to make decisions. You don't know what to do with yourself because you have so much time on your hands now - yet you still feel guilty for spending time on recreation.

IT HURTS when you feel as though you have lost touch with reality. You feel as though you are "floating" and wonder if you really are better off and long for the security you had in the organization and yet you know you cannot go back.

IT HURTS when you feel you are all alone - that no one seems to understand what you are feeling. It hurts when you realize your self confidence and self worth are almost non-existent.

IT HURTS when you have to front up to friends and family to hear their "I told you so" whether that statement is verbal or not. It makes you feel even more stupid than you already do - your confidence and self worth plummet even further.

IT HURTS when you realize you gave up everything for the cult - your education, career, finances, time and energy - and now have to seek employment or restart your education. How do you explain all those missing years?

IT HURTS because you know that even though you were deceived, you are responsible for being taken in. All that wasted time........ at least that is what it seems to you - wasted time.


Leaving a cult is like experiencing the death of a close relative or a broken relationship. The feeling is often described as like having been betrayed by someone with whom you were in love. You feel you were simply used.

There is a grieving process to pass through. Whereas most people understand that a person must grieve after a death etc, they find it difficult to understand the same applies in this situation. There is no instant cure for the grief, confusion and pain. Like all grieving periods, time is the healer. Some feel guilty, or wrong about this grief. They shouldn't -- It IS normal. It is NOT wrong to feel confused, uncertain, disillusioned, guilty, angry, untrusting - these are all part of the process. In time the negative feelings will be replaced with clear thinking, joy, peace, and trust.


There is life after the cult

Having a Hard Time

I wish I could agree with my mother who said, "It's what you choose to dwell on," when I tried to tell her about the things that hurt me when I was a child. I wished she were right and that I could just make it all go away by focusing on the good things. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now. The abuse continues to affect my life in so many ways.

I wish I could change my history. I never wanted this. I never wanted to be - d by my father and molested by yeshiva students. I want to change it, deny it, make it disappear. My family seems to do it so easily, why can't I? Will my family ever see me as a real person? Will they ever even speak to me again? When will the pain end?

I had to choose to die inside and be the way my family wanted me to be, or to live and acknowledge the abuse, and exist to myself. I chose myself and I lost my family.
I laugh when I read posts by people who protect abusers threatening hell in the afterlife for people who dare to speak ill of thier sick perverted rabbi's.

I know what hell is. I have already spent years there. Hell is gut wrenching, heart - ing, grief that makes you curl up in pain. Hell is helpless mind numbing shame, so strong you are compelled to kill yourself. Depression so severe that you can't get out of bed or stop crying. Self hatred so strong you want to cut and burn yourself. Hell is looking at yourself and seeing only crumbled cookies. No self to look at. Hell is psychological pain stronger than any physical pain imaginable. Hell is being told that you are not even good enough to be a survivor, that nothing ever happened to you. That all your feelings and experiences are fabrications of your sick mind. That at best you don't exist, at worst you are sick and evil.
I will never trust a Rabbi again. What do I teach my own children when I don't even know myself what I believe about Judaism and God?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Response From Rabbi Dratch

Dear Naomi,
So you want to know who I am and why I do what I do. Fair enough.
Who am I? I am a graduate of Yeshiva University and have served in a number of pulpits for the past 23 years.
I am not a survivor of any kind of abuse or . I am not a woman. But I believe that dealing with domestic , child abuse, ual assault, etc. are not survivors' issues or women's issues, I believe that they are the community's issues. Very simply, the Torah's prohibition, "Do not stand idly by the of your neighbor" (Lev. 19) applies to all equally, regardless of background, experience or gender.
I know that such idealism is subject to skepticism, it's not found very often. For me it stems from my commitment to Torah--to what Torah is meant to be and what it demands of each of us--and a deep resepect for the Tzelem Elokim, the divine image in which each and every one of us is created.
I got involved with these issues more than 15 years ago when a pediatrician I met related horror stories of incidents of child abuse in her practice and the guidance she was receiving from local prominent rabbis. I was appalled and shocked at what I heard. Having a bus driver reassigned after molesting a student is unacceptable. And when subsequent investigation reveals that he had been reassigned a number of times during the past year or two, from one yeshiva to the next, it was criminal. After hearing a number of such stories and convinced that this is simply not the Jewish way, I wrote my paper for the RCA Roundtable in which I articulated my understanding of issues like mesirah (reporting to civil authorities), lashon ha-ra and chillul Hashem (scandal, shanda). This paper has been reprinted in a number of resource guides and is quoted often (even recently on some blogs).
Once I started to recognize the problem and felt obligated to be public about it, I started meeting survivors and professionals. At the time I was serving a congregation in Toronto and got involved with the Institute for the Prevention of Child Abuse there. I also got involved with the Center for the Prevention of ual and Domestic (now FaithTrust Institute), an amazing and groundbreaking organization founded by Rev. Marie Fortune. It is an interfaith initiative and had a Jewish Advisory Board. I was involved in helping to develop their Jewish programming, appear on their video, "Broken Vows", and am on the Editorial Board of their Journal for Religion and Abuse. I learned much from those involvements.
Because of my writing and speaking on this topic, I had more opportunitites to meet survivors who were searching for someone who understood their situations and who was available--and interested-- to help. So my experience grew. I became an activist in areas of child abuse, DV, agunot, etc. I read whatever I could get my hands on-- articles, newspapers, magazines, books. I searched the halachic literatur for guidance and understanding. I spoke with survivors, consulted with therapists and other professionals, met advocates. I am not a therapist and have no degree in this area, and I tell that to people straight away. I refer survivors to the professionals that they need to get the help that they need. I have spoken to many rabbinic and community groups over the years --- urging them to recognize the problems and taks responsibility for them
So that is who I am and where I come from and why I do what I do.
I believe in this so strongly that when a number of factors presented themselves last year, I decided to make a major change in my professional activities in order to devote full time to these concerns. This is a significant risk to me professionally. But I believe that the Jewish community is far behind where it needs to be in this area. I believe that we are negligent in our responsibilities to protect the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare of many of our people. And I beleive that I can't just sit by and watch.
Now, as for the relationship between the Awareness Center and the work it does and JSafe and the work it will do... they are not the same. Let's put aside my differences with its policies. The Awareness Center deals with issues of ual assault only. This is different from (although overlaps) DV and child abuse. The Awareness Center is an advocacy group. As such, it has a role to play. My vision of JSafe is very different. It is not an advocacy group. Its goal is to effect systemic change in the Jewish community so that Jewish organizations and institutions and programs respond appropriately and helpfully when survivors come to them for help. Its goal is to create relationships between these groups and Jewish Family Services, Domestic Services and other social service agencies so that women and children can be served effectvely and properly. This is not the mission of The Awareness Center.
I plan to make public my Board of Directors and my Advisory Board in the near future. They are still in formation as JSafe is still in embrionic form. I am confident that the wide scope and breadth of people who are respected in this area from all over the country will allay concerns that some have.
As for your questions regarding the RCA and the current situation: I cannot comment on them at this time. I know that may be frustrating for you and I empathize.
However, I do call your attention to the guidelines that the RCA has established to deal with allegations against a member rabbi that are available at www.rabbis,org. I was privileged to be the chair of the Task Force on Rabbinic Improprities that drafted these guidelines. I also call your attention to the strong language of the resolution passed almost two years ago through which the RCA put itself on record condemning improper behavior. The guidelines were recently amended to insist that all information, including the names of those who make the allegations or who are the survivors, remain absolutely confidential and may not be released to anyone without specific written consent by the individuals involved to the head of the Vaad haTzedek (the new body that will be responsibility to adjudicate the allegations).
I understand the concerns of survivors and the issues of trust with which you struggle. I can only assure you that in me you have a sympathetic ear and a burning desire to help.
I hope that this answers many of your questions. I know that it doesn't respond to all of them.
Please feel free to share it with those you feel might be interested.
Mark Dratch

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Confused and sad

Last summer I was date raped by a Jewish man. Prior to that, I had casually dated some non-Jews. All of the non-Jews treated me properly. The Jew date raped me. I wandered about in a daze. I had finally found someone I thought I could trust and once again had been betrayed.

In those hot lazy summer days, when my heart was broken with betrayal, I started hanging out with a guy I once worked with. We hit it off very well. We fell in love. It was the only time in my life I've ever been in love. It was wonderful. We unfolded into each other and being with him I felt more alive than I ever had. We adored each other and deeply connected on an emotional, physical and spiritual level. There was one problem: he's a devout Christian. I'm a devout Jewess. In the fall, we broke up.

It was very painful for me and I am still not over it. I feel numb and frozen. I feel that g-d is cruel for having put those Jews into my life who hurt me and then the one person I fall in love with is a Christian. I did look into Christianity but I just don't believe that Jesus was the messiah. It just doesn't make sense to me. The whole story seems phony to me. It doesn't jive with the text of the bible. I couldn't marry someone not Jewish.

Any rabbis out there who can give some words to soothe my wounded soul? Any pastors or priests out there who can give the same?

Please, please, someone out there write something to make me feel like there's some sense to all this, like there's some hope for me. Will I ever meet a Jewish soulmate as true as the one I knew? What does g-d want from me???


Message to Rabbi Dratch

Dear Rabbi Dratch,

I think I am expressing the feelings of many survivors with this post.
We are very glad that RMT was expelled from the RCA. Every small victory is a triumph.
BUT, If you truly care about survivors and want to help us then you need to do a few things to assure us that you are truly able and willing to help.
1. Publically appologize for what happened to the Tendler survivors.
2. Take responsibility for the and pain they are going through right now as a result of the mistake.
Explain how it happened.
3. Tell us how you will prevent the same thing from happening to the next survivor/s who come forward.
4. Tell us why you care. Often, the only people who seem to truly care about this issue are survivors and abusers, and those who have been directly involved with them. Transparency is very important. Many of us, for obvious reasons, have trust issues.
5. How have you educated yourself? Tell us what training you have and what books you have read on this subject.
6. The Awareness Center's "alleged abuser" page is the only thing that has worked thus far to help empower and protect survivors. It is not perfect. Nor is any judicial system in any country. We can not sit back and do nothing until we come up with the perfect system.
If the awareness center had more funds and manpower they could do better investigatory work. If you truly care about the truth then why not offer to help investigate and collect evidence on any case that you feel is questionable? Work together with Vicki instead of critisizing and removing yourself from the awareness center.
Please feel free to respond in the comment section.

Sincerely, Naomi

Saturday, March 26, 2005

No Longer Being Silenced

I just read the following comment on the Jewish Whitleblowers Blog and wanted to share it with you. The comment is a response to an attack.

I guess they don't know the way that victim advocacy organizations like The Awareness Center works.

The harder those who protect offenders attack, the stronger the organization will get. Survivors of abuse are learning they are NOT alone anymore. They are learning they can NO LONGER be silenced. When you think about how many survivors there are of sexual violence, verses the number of offenders, who do you think will win this fight?

Friday, March 25, 2005

I Purim

Purim brings up lots of stuff for me. Bad memories. Good memories. Confusion. I remember as a child waking up in the morning and running down stairs with my siblings to see what my mother had prepared for us in our personalized "shalach manot" baskets. One year she baked a whole lemon pie just for me because she knew how much I liked it!
My father got drunk every year and acted happy and crazy and wild. We thought it was funny and exciting, but it was also disturbing and sometimes scary. Once he gave my little sister a cigarette to inhale. She coughed and cried and couldn't catch her breath. He would have my mom drive him around the neighborhood delivering mishloach manot and we would tag along to laugh at his antics. He got a lot of attention. Everyone liked him. I wanted to be liked too. But as usual, it was all about him. I did not exist as a person seperate from my family.
I always hoped something would change on purim. On purim anything was possible. On purim things were topsy turvey so maby something would change for me and the pain inside would go away. There was always a huge let down when it was over and everything was still the same. I miss my family. I them and never want to see them again. I miss them terribly....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Letter to me from rabbi Dratch

I wrote to Rabbi Dratch asking him which cases he thought should be removed from the AC website. I told him that some survivors are concerned about his new organization. Here is his response to me, (with his permission to post it).

Dear Naomi:
> Thank you for your email and your concern.
> I empathize with you and appreciate the hard
> struggle that you must be going
> through as a survivor. I do not know you or your
> story, but I do know that
> the path is not easy, neither while suffering the
> abuse nor after it. I admire
> your strength and stamina.
> Vicki is doing many wonderful things with her
> project and has been a source
> of help and inspiration to many through her website
> and its related services.
> I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity
> to speak out and write on
> these issues, help some survivors along the way, and
> work for systemic change
> in the Jewish community to help prevent and
> appropriately respond to and help
> those who need it. JSafe was an outgrowth of that
> commitment. My only agenda
> is to help.
> I know that there are many different perspectives on
> just about every issue
> that we face. I know that sometimes what is
> important to one segment is
> alienating to another, and vice versa. Advocates
> at times, to some, seem to be too
> "advocatey" (pardon the unsuccessful coining of a
> new word) and establishment
> types at times, to some, too "establishmenty."
> As far as the postings are concerned, I understand
> Vicki's point. The
> allegations are usually true, the information needs
> to be out there to help protect
> others and to inspire others to come forward, etc.
> At the same time, others
> are totally alienated from her work because they
> feel that there are no checks
> and balances and that anyone could possibly find
> their names and pictures
> posted (inappropriately) with no recourse, suffering
> untold damages, etc. I don't
> know of an appropriate medium. Neither extreme
> works for me. I know of the
> difficulties and sometimes long lengths of time it
> takes to adjudicate and the
> system often fails. I don't know the answer,
> really. But I think that there
> needs to be some kind of review process that takes
> many factors into account.
> That will ensure greater credibility in the larger
> community for the project
> and will be more ethically sound.
> One of my goals for JSafe is to convene a Think Tank
> to explore questions
> like this, and others, with the participation of
> survivors, halachic experts,
> legal experts, ethicists, advocates, etc. and to try
> to articulate policies that
> are appropriate and sound. Then, with this backing,
> advocate those policies
> on a large scale.
> I appreciate your comment, "We want to believe in
> you and what you are
> doing." That's why I am doing what I am doing.
> Leaving the pulpit and going into
> this work full time is a risk for me, professionally
> and personally. But I
> believe in it.
> Unfortunately, there are misunderstandings and
> misrepresentations out there
> that I will not or cannot respond to. (That's a
> much different conversation.)
> I hope that my track record has proven my
> commitment, sensitivity and
> responsiblity. And I hope that I can use my
> position as a male, as a rabbi and as a
> community leader to help further the cause. Some
> may not like every thing I
> say or do, or the way I say it or do it... I
> understand that and I hope that
> they will understand and appreciate that they have a
> friend and ally and
> supporter in me-- and that together we can make a
> difference for survivors as
> individuals-- and for the community at large.
> Anonymous blogs are both wonderfully safe havens for
> peoplemto find help and
> support and, at the same time, spaces for people to
> make uninformed
> conjectures and critiques about things that they
> know little or nothing about. The
> former is great, the latter can be destructive and
> ultimately unhelpful.
> Thakns so much for writing. I hope I have answered
> your questions. Please
> feel free to be in touch at any time. I appreciate
> your perspectives and will
> certainly consider them very carefully. It helps me
> to learn, understand and
> see things in ways I need to learn, understand and
> see them.
> Mark Dratch

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Healing Thoughts - Do you know of more?

  • What your life turns out to be is usually different from what you thought it would be.
  • There is only one part of your life that you cannot change: your past.
  • Don't hide when you fail.
  • Do not loose courage in considering your own imperfections.
  • Do not speak ill of yourself; others will do it for you.
  • Do not feel shame at being helped.
  • We are all treasure chests of talents, insights, and remarkable gifts.
  • The most important words we say are those to ourselves about ourselves.
  • Do not be afraid to do something badly.
  • Practice your passion.
  • Make something significant of your existence.
  • Imperfections make life exciting.
  • See more then waht your eyes show you.
  • The best way to walk through life is with integrity.
  • Do not look forward to the day when you will stop suffering--because then you will be dead.
  • A person makes a name, not a name the person (I was thinking of some of the rabbinical families when I read this one.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Is Rabbi Mark Dratch Trying to Recreate The Awareness Center?

Yesterday I picked up a brochure at the JWI conference. I was shocked when I read about a new organization being developed by Rabbi Mark Dratch called JSafe. I think it should be called J-UnSafe.

JSafe's mission and goals are extremely similar to that of The Awareness Center's. I have my concern that Rabbi Mark Dratch and members of the RCA are attempting to kill the messenger.

Back on November 11, 2004, Rabbi Dratch was interviewed by Luke Ford, and was quoted as saying the following:
"The website and its discussion groups are an invaluable resource for many people. I had been involved at supporting them at one point in time. Vicki Polin has done tremendous work. We had a disagreement about a year ago] over some of the articles published on there with regard to accusations made against individuals. Her feeling is that as long as there is an article out there it should always be public. I disagree with that. If there is no substantiation of the allegations after a period of time and the person may be innocent, those articles should not be there. As a result of that, we have parted ways. She remains an important resource for me and I imagine I am an important resource for her.
To the best of my knowledge The Awareness Center is much more then a website. It is a full grown organization. What a great way to disrespect an organization that you are trying to mimic. Belittle it and refer to it as just a website.

I know for myself when I've needed resources that I called and spoke to Vicki Polin, and was provided with information that I was unable to find else where. I've told friends and coworkers of mine about The Awareness Center, and they were able to locate a rabbi, connect with attorneys, find counselors who have experience working with rape and incest survivors.

I personally have had very bad experiences going to Jewish Family Services. The majority of therapists at two different JFS's I went to didn't have the experience in working with rape victims.

At one point I had to move to another state. I had the same experience in both states with JFS therapists. Reading the brochure of JSAFE, it seems like Jewish Family Services is where Rabbi Dratch is sending survivors. If you are a survivor don't go there! Because I live in a semi-rural area, Vicki had suggested I track down a local rape crisis center and be seen there, or ask them for the name of a therapist they would recommend. I also suggest the same thing.

In Luke Ford's article on Rabbi Dratch, Steven I. Weiss was quoted as saying:
"Luke - Dratch's argument against Polin, that she should remove old stories that have not been substantiated, comes in pretty neatly with the Michael Ozair story. Remember that in that case, only allegations against him had been printed, and the fact that he pleaded no contest in 2001 would have made the allegations three years old with no follow-up. It was precisely because his file was maintained on The Awareness Center's Website that we matched him up as Michael Ezra of, and that we did further inquiry into the matter, reporting his plea for the first time."
I don't want anyone to forget that Rabbi Mark Dratch mislead the survivors of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler into believing what they said to him would be kept confidential. He also encouraged them to talk to the investigator who was hired by the RCA to conduct an investigation of the Tendler case.

The investigator wrote a report and provided it to the RCA. Rabbi Basil Herring, executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) decided it was only fair for Tendler (not his attorney) to have a copy of the final report, which had the names and contact information of the alleged survivors in it.

Rabbi Mark Dratch who was once an honored member of The Awareness Center's advisory board is now taking the ideas of another organization and running with them. The difference being is that Rabbi Dratch is closely tied to the organization that needs the most monitoring. It's almost like the United Nations monitoring the Saudi government.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Survivor Workshop

I attended yesterday's workshop at the JWI conference about abuse survivors in the Jewish community. Vicki Polin and Rabbi Yosef Blau both spoke, and then opened up the floor for discussion. Rabbi Blau asked why Jewish communities routinely protect ual abusers instead of protecting their victims. The answer he said, is to protect it's self image.
The orthodox community in particular is quick to blame problems on outside influence instead of looking within. Denial runs deep.
Rabbi Blau said that jewish survivors have no obligation to honor parents who are abusive if contact with them would compromise thier emotional and mental health. He talked about different laws from the torah that people misuse to try to silence victims.
Rabbi Blau said that he wished that he could say that our communities are getting better at dealing with this issue but that wouldn't be true. He said that it is our responsibility as a community to speak out against abuse and to support the victims.
Vicki asked survivors to honor themselves just for surviving. She asked what would be needed to set up a system of empowerment for survivors.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Mazel Tov to the Survivors of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler

Breaking News: Rabbi Mordechai Tendler has been expelled from the RCA: "engaged in conduct inappropriate for an Orthodox rabbi.”

I wish the RCA did more, but at least this alleged sex offender is no longer a member of the Rabbinical Council of America.

It's really sort of funny that at least one supporter of Tendler is still making attempts to discredit two women who are dedicated victim advocates. If it wasn't for the bravery of Anne Margolis and Leah Marinelli, Tendler would still be a member of the RCA. I wish we could give them an award or something. Just like survivors, they have been harassed and there have been attempts to ruin their careers as midwives.

Who ever started the blog to attack them. Isn't allowing anyone to post comments. So please feel free to post them here. You can view the slanderous blog at: "Truth"

I think both victim advocates and survivors around the globe have got to take a stand and speak out against such nonsense. If this case was held in a secular court, these sorts of actions would be considered criminal. It's called witness tampering.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Anyone Going to the JWI Conference to hear Rabbi Blau, Vicki Polin and Michael Salamon Speak?

Just curious if anyone is going to the conference? If you are maybe a group of us can meet somewhere? or if not, maybe someone can take notes and let us know how it went?

I'm not able to go, but am hopeful someone who reads this blog will be there.

Lost in the Shuffle: Jewish Survivors of Sexual Victimization
4:30 - 6:00 pm

Until recently the topic of sexual violence in Jewish communities has been too taboo to discuss. This workshop will provide a basic overview of how communities handled allegations in the past, what changes need to be made, and how we can make them. The workshop will encourage a dialogue between workshop participants.

Vicki Polin, Executive Director, The Awareness Center--the Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Assault/Abuse, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi Yosef Blau, Yeshiva University, NY
Dr. Michael J. Salamon, founder/director, Adult Developmental Center, Hewlett, NY

The Conference will be held at the Capital Hilton, 16th and K Street, NW, in Washington, D.C. USA. Hotel phone: 202-393-1000.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Stranger in no-man's land

I feel like I have no place. The place I grew up in is no longer home. I moved to my own apartment but I still feel kind of drifting. Where do I belong? Where is a place for me? When will I finally be "home"?

What makes a home? How do you know you're there? Why is this longing for a home so strong in me? When I was little I'd hide in the closet among the blankets. It was dark and warm and I was safe. But then "he" came and my safety evaporated. I'm not sure where I'm going with this post but I think the title explains how I feel: like a stranger in no-man's land.

Do any of you feel this way? Are there any of you who felt this way in the past but have since found a "home"?

There's a song by Uncle Kracker that strikes a chord for me. It's called In a Little While. Here are some of the lyrics:
Sometimes I feel like something is gone here
Something is wrong here, I don't belong here
Sometimes I feel like a stranger in town
And I've lost what I found....
On the other side of a coin there's a face
There's a memory somewhere that I can't erase
And there's a place that I'll find someday
But sometimes I feel like it's slipping away...

Love yourself first

Late Fragment
by Raymond Carver

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.


Naomi posted a comment somewhere on this blog, saying that our priority should be forgiving ourself, not our offender. I've been thinking about this and I think it's very true. I am trying to work on myself to forgive myself.

Lately I've been wallowing in self-hate so this is kind of hard. Not sure how to get out of it. Any ideas? I don't act on my feeling. I don't hurt myself, I take care of myself, etc. Just under the surface, I hate myself. Anyone want to talk about this? I've felt this way for a long, long time, since I was practically a child.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

JWB Tipline now active: also consider this a blank post where you can post tips as well


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Cutting insensitive people out of your life

If there are people who are well meaning but insensitive and keep hurting you, at what point do you say, that's enough, I don't want you in my life anymore?

I have cut a few people out of my life. I don't call them anymore. They don't call me either. They never called me. They always waited for me to call them. I guess that's part of the problem. I don't feel they really care about me.

It's hard because I don't like cutting people out of my life. But I do need to keep myself safe. The people I've cut out feel hurt (in one case, extremely hurt) and I'm sad that I cause them pain, but I just can't deal with them in my life.

Being a survivor is a lonely experience. I find that the only people who can really understand me are fellow survivors. I wish there were a community somewhere with lots of trees and grass and only survivors. And a big fence to keep everyone else out.


Hello everyone, my name is Mara and I'm a new poster to this blog. I am an incest survivor and also a date rape survivor. I grew up orthodox and I'm struggling with observance. I'm not sure if this is something meaningful for me to hold on to, or whether to just let go. I am very angry: at my abuser, at the community for sheltering people like that, and at myself. I am also very sad. I'm depressed. Well I guess that's enough for an introduction.

My Story - By Dina Tamar

My name is Dina Tamar. I'm the newest volunteer "Poster" to this blog. I was asked to introduce myself to everyone. So I'll do that.

I'm a survivor of incest, and a rape survivor. I've heard that it's not uncommon for people who were abused as children to be assaulted as an adult. I guess us survivor types tend to go looking for love in all the wrong places.

I'm no different then most survivors. When I was a child, I tried to get help, but no one would listen. After my assault as a young adult, I was lucky. I went to the ER, a rape advocate was there to meet me. She walked me through everything, was there holding my hand when they did the rape exam on me to collect evidence. She was there when the police interviewed me too. She made sure I was seen by someone at a rape crisis counseling center. From there I had a legal advocate, who helped me deal with the states attorney's office, and was there with me when I went to court. The counselors I had at that rape crisis center saved my life. They helped me with more then just the assault, they helped me deal with so many different aspects of my life. It was short term therapy, but it was what I needed to begin my healing journey. They really began to help shape who I am today.

I've been dealing with my abuse history for a little over 10 years. I've grown so much, but the reality is, that I will always have flashbacks. Sometimes they will be worst then others. The good thing is that I've learned so many ways of coping with them. I'll share some of that with you at another time.

What I really want to talk about is the anger I have with the way Jewish communities have been handling cases like mine. I can only talk from my own experiences, which totally frustrate me.

I always felt stupid when it came to dealing with spiritual matters. I just never felt comfortable with God. I never saw God as my friend. It's been difficult for me to conceive of God as being an all loving being.

For years friends of mine who went to SIA (Survivors of Incest Anonymous) kept encouraging me to call a rabbi, to make a connection. I was very resistant. I never felt comfortable in twelve-step meetings because of my God issues. I also found them to be very Christian. Even though I feel uncomfortable with God, I am a Jew.

At one point in my life I got mixed up with some people who were cult like. One of my 12 step friends told me about a rabbi in New York who was a part of a Cult Clinic. She kept pushing me to call him. Finally I did. I guess I was foolish in believing that rabbis were supposed to care, and that they would understand where I was coming from.

I'll never forget that experience. I never really talked to a rabbi before, but something inside me told me to find some spiritual guidance, so I went looking. I made the call, and shared my story with him. His response was to scream at me, told me not to bother him again, and slammed the phone down.

I was crushed. I still cry when I think about that experience. I really have a hard time thinking about putting myself in that sort of position again.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Being Sexual After Being Sexually Assaulted

From a Survivor who wants to remain annoymous

Years ago I was sexually assaulted by a trusted friend. He was engaged to a friend. He had always been "a good guy", like a brother to me. I had no reason to think that he would rape me.

After the assault I did something that was very confusing to me for a few years. I found myself being promiscuous with men I didn't know.

I remember talking about this in therapy, and my rape counselor explained to me that my actions and reactions were not uncommon for a rape victim.

I didn't feel safe. I felt like anyone could rape me and get away with it. I felt like all the control was taken away from me. I wanted to be back in charge of my life.

I found myself finding men, and just having sex with them because I could. It was "wham, bam, thank you man." I wasn't really sexually attracted to any of the men, and I felt no attachment to them. I just want to prove to myself I could have sex with anyone I wanted to. I wanted to say who could put themselves inside me, and who couldn't.

I'll admit it may not be the healthiest way for me to feel in control of my life again, but it's what I did.

Prior to being sexually assaulted, I was very trusting of others, after the assault I had difficulties trusting people. I felt safer with strangers, then with people I knew.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Web help needed!

Does anyone know how to add a side bar that includes links to other people's blog? I've been trying to do this for some time and haven't been able to figure out how to do this.

Psychotherapists that are Survivors of Sexual Violence

I know we discussed this before in the past, but I think it's an important topic. A vast number of psychotherapists (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, etc.) who specialize in the field of sexual violence are survivors themselves. I've heard that there are those who have concerns regarding this fact. The fear is that if you were once sexually victimized that you would be biased. Another fear is that everyone you see in a professional setting, you will believe is also a survivor.

  1. If you are a survivor, how would you feel if you found out your therapist is also a survivor?
  2. Would you rather see a therapist who is a survivor? or one who was never victimized? Or doesn't it matter to you?
  3. If you are a survivor, did you ever think of becoming a therapist to help others?
  4. Many survivors also go into related fields such as law enforcement, or go into Law. Have you ever done this? If you have, why?

Let's talk about these issues.

Professionals who were sexually violated by the people they serve

Here's a topic I don't have information on, but I know happens. There have been times that psychotherapists, lawyers, cops, and rabbis have been sexually assaulted or otherwise violated by the people they work with.

If you know of any information about this, please share it here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Heroism of Esther - by Rabbi Ari Kahn

Below is a link to the article suggested by one of our readers. What do you think about it?

The Heroism of Esther
by Rabbi Ari Kahn

From a legalistic Jewish perspective we can understand Mordechai's instructions: Jewish law recognizes that a rape victim is not expected to give up her life, as she is considered a passive victim who unwillingly transgresses one of the three cardinal laws. On the other hand, any desecration, even of a more minor offense, if publicly known, becomes a "desecration of God's name" and therefore would also require martyrdom. This would explain Mordechai's insistence that Esther conceal her heritage, not just from the king, but from the Jewish community as well.

But the argument in favor of martyrdom is compelling on a psychological level. The martyr is assured respect by co-religionists in this world and an exalted status in the next. This, coupled with an act of defiance against the enemy, seems like a combination too good to turn down. Yet Mordechai does not allow Esther to take this course of action.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Queen Esther A Sex Slave?

I was thinking of the Purim story, and how Queen Esther was abducted, raped and forced to marry her rapist.

So often in our communities survivors of sexual violence are looked upon as being "lepers" of sorts. They are told they are lying, get excommunicated, and shamed into believing the assault was their own fault.

When talking about this to rabbis they will explain that Queen Esther had to go through the trauma so that she would become the woman she became. Why is it that survivors of today are NOT honored like Queen Esther? Why is it that when a survivor walks in a room, everyone whispers -- instead of standing up and applauding them for coming forward, and for surviving horrendous experiences?

I wonder if the Purim story would happen today, what the headline news would say about it?
I figured this was something we could talk about?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

What do we do with Rabbis who are Sex Offenders and their Smicha's (Ordination)?

I was recently having a conversation with someone regarding the topic of having a rabbi's ordination overturned/revolked.

I was told the only way that can happen in orthodox circles (RCA or Agudath Israel of America) is if the rabbi who gave the ordination takes it back.

There's a problem though; If the rabbi who gave an offender his smicha dies, then there is nothing anyone can do. I think about how rabbis can decide all sorts of things, but I don't understand why they haven't had a summit to change this practice? Do they care more about thier image, then they do about protecting innocent potential victims?

I either read somewhere or was told that Marc Gafni almost had has his ordination revoked. But right before that happened he gave it back to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. Gafni still has ordinations by other rabbis. My question is that with all the information that's available, why hasn't those other rabbis also revoked his ordination?

I've also been told it's highly unusual for a rabbi to revoke an ordination. I'm really confused with the Gafni case, why hasn't every Jewish news paper didn't pick it up? Wouldn't you think it would be headline news?

I also think about all the smicha's Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach has given. Off the top of my head I automatically think of Rabbi Hershy Worch, who was living in Chicago, and now resides in Istanbul, Turkey.

I heard that because Worch doesn't belong to any rabbinical organization, meaning there is nothing any can do.

So the Worch saga continues. He is still considered an orthodox rabbi. So the odds are he is continuing his Kiruv work (Jewish outreach), and practicing S & M form of Kabbalah. Luring more victims in.

If an orthodox rabbi is an alleged or convicted sex offender, they will remain being a rabbi. Think about it. If you can't revoke a smicha, and all you can do is kick someone out of a rabbinical association, then does it really make a difference what can you do? The alleged or convicted offender can continue using their title of rabbi to lure in innocent victims and continue offending.

Maybe everyone needs to contact the rabbinical associations (RCA or Agudath Israel of America) and see if public pressure will get them to change?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Finding A Rabbi: Tips for Survivors of Sexual Violence (Incest, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Rape) By © (2005) By Vicki Polin, MA, LCPC and Michael

I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the article Vicki Polin and Michael Salamon wrote:

Finding A Rabbi: Tips for Survivors of Sexual Violence
(Incest, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Rape)

Just curious if anyone here has looked for a rabbi to understand what happened to them? If you did what was it like? Did you find support? Do you feel doors slam in your face?

If you were going to write a list like The Awareness Center did, what things would you add or change?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Rabbinical Associations - How Are They Doing?

If you are a survivor and were sexually violated by a rabbi:

How do you feel your case was handled by your community?

Did you attempt to go to a rabbinical association? If so what happened?

What changes do you feel need to be made?

If you could have your wishes come true, what do you wish would happen to your offender?

Halacha and Parents Who Throw Their Children To The Streets

There was a comment on the blog that I thought we should discuss. It was on the posting on Homelessness and Survivors of Sexual Violence

Does anyone know the answer to this? Also what do you think the community response to be to parents who throw their children away?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if anyone knows if there is at halacha of parents throwing their child on to the streets? It's like throwing your child away, like they are garbage.

That's the way it felt to me when it happened. I was nothing more then trash.

I never did drugs, never slept around, was an average student, and was active in my school. But to my parents, I was in the way. An unwanted nobody.

So if anyone knows what Torah says about how a parent is supposed to treat their children. I would be every so grateful.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Case of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler Update - By Jewish Whistleblower

Everyone needs to go the Jewish Whistleblower's blog and read what he has to say about the handling of the case of alleged rapist Rabbi Mordechai Tendler.

Don't forget to have your voice heard and make comments while you're there!

It's time for the RCA to end this charade of an investigation. How much more out of control can this process become? Rabbi Mordechai Tendler has proven he does not belong in the rabbanut.

Accept the Praesidium report and remove Rabbi Mordechai Tendler from the RCA publicly.

I'm also making a public call for the removal of all the rabbonim from the RCA who were part of this fake RCA scam. They need to be named publicly. This is outrageous.

RCA - Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox)

Powerlessness - By BatDina

BatDina posted a new poem to her blog "The Beach of Yellow".

I want to encourage everyone to go read it.

The Good Therapist - By Naomi

The good therapist waits
With infinite patience
As I struggle to summon forth
From dry wells
A drop of trust.
The good therapist hears
With her heart and mind
A dangerous minefield
Covered by a net of carefully woven
Ideas and thoughts
I call my life.
The good therapist does not judge
Condemn or make assumptions
About what I do and what I say
She asks and leaves space
For me to hear how I think
And who I am.
The good therapist does not
Flinch at angry words hurled
Her way
She calmly helps me understand
What the anger is saying.
The good therapist admits and
Apologizes for her mistakes
She stands by me when
I falter and despair
Her confidence in me never wavers.
She rejoices with me in moments
Of revelation and growth
The good therapist teaches me
To trust myself
She leads but is also
Willing to follow as I show her
The path to my healing.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Helpful Hints to Blogging

Many of us are new to Blogging. A suggestion was made that everyone adopt a pen name for this blog, and use it when you make comments. Doing so will make it easier for all of us to communicate with each other.

When you make a comment you are given three "IDENTITY" choices.
  1. BLOGGER - Will allow you to sign on if you have your own blog. The name that will show up will bring a link to your own personal blog if you have one.
  2. OTHER - Will allow you to use the pen name you adopt.
  3. ANONYMOUS - Will sign your posting "Anonymous".
To make this a friendlier place I'm hoping people will either sign their comments with either their BLOGGER name, or with their PEN name using the "OTHER" choice.

Did you ever feel that the concept of Lashon Hara was used to Silence Survivors of Sexual Violence?

Lashon hara: Derogatory speech that is true.

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of they neighbor (Leviticus 19:16)

I always wondered how many times sex offenders got away with victimizing adults and children, because survivors were told it was lashon hara to discuss?

I know things are starting to change, but without survivors speaking out and saying -- this happened to me, and saying letting the world know how they were silenced nothing will every really change.

I'm hoping those who have been sexually violated will speak out. This blog is just one option for you to do that.