Friday, September 16, 2005

Message from Danya

I am a survivor of Rabbinical sexual misconduct. After five years of silence I have finally mustered up enough courage to confront the issue and tell someone. The rabbi who abused me teaches in a religious high school. I decided that the logical thing to do was to tell his boss what happened and trust him to deal with it.

Here's what my offenders boss told me:
"My major concern is whether or not this rabbi is a danger to his students. In order to determine this he will send the rabbi to a psychologist who will test him for sexual deviance. If he fails the test, the rabbi will be fired."

My response:
"And if he passes, then keep him as a rabbi in your school, that seems fair.

Just do me one favor please. Make sure to send out a letter of notification to all the mothers (especially those who are in a crisis) of his students to let them know that it has come to your attention that this rabbi abused a young widow while her husband was dying (emotionally, psychologically and sexually) but that you've tested him and he's passed so luckily for everyone, especially his young vulnerable students, he will remain on the payroll!"


Blogger Chavah5760 said...

I applaud your courage to speak out. This is one of the most difficult, frightening and painful things to do. Hashem blesses you for what you did. At most shuls, no one would've voluntarily ordered a rabbi to undergo a psychological examination - I've found that they prefer to sweep it under the rug and avoid scandel. I too am a survivor of rabbinic sexual misconduct and have just started a blog. I beleive survivors must speak out and share their experiences with others. This is how I first reached out for help after my abuse. I connected with advocates online who helped me to find a therpist who specialized in boundary issues and I also found a Reform rabbi who assists victims through the reporting process with the Central Conference of American Rabbi's (Vicki Polin of The Awareness Center know this rabbi - he is wonderful). Without his help I would never have turned in my rabbi-abuser. The Ethic's Committee of the CCAR ordered him to undergo a complete psychological examination but...the Board of Trustees overturned his censure and gave him a confidential letter of reprimand instead. The CCAR has a sacred duty to ensure that the rabbinate remains safe and the Board of Trustees failed to do their job. I'm glad that you found someone who actually did something. Keep up this holy and sacred work.

September 20, 2005 10:23 AM  

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