Saturday, April 14, 2007

How Dangerous Are The Words of Vicki Polin And The Values of The Awareness Center?

I was totally shocked when I was talking to a group of survivors about Vicki Polin and The Awareness Center.

The survivors warned me that it is too dangerous to associate with her. I was told that if anyone knew I supported this organization, that I would loose credibility when I try to educate my community on sexual abuse/assault. I was totally shocked at their words.

Over the last week since the meeting, each person who attended has contacted me and privately me told me they totally support Vicki's work, yet didn't want me to tell the others.

Why does being a supporter of The Awareness Center have to be a secret? It's almost as if we are living in a communist country where we are not supposed to have freedom of thought and definitely do not have freedom of speech.

What I think is really crazy is the volumes of people I know who privately support the work of Vicki Polin and the Awareness Center, but are too afraid of "what the rabbis will think".

What disturbs me most is that one of the key elements of healing is for survivors to speak their own truth. Our rabbis and communities are bullying survivors not to verbalize their feeling and also forcing them into a position of remaining silent. When you stop and think about it, hasn't silence been the problem to begin with?

Why are we so afraid of our rabbis?

If we fear our rabbis and other community leaders
. . . are they really there for us?
. . . do they really care?

I was just re-listening to a talk radio show Vicki Polin was on last summer ( I wanted to see if I could figure out what was so outlandish with what she was saying. The only thing she is saying is that we should be reporting criminal activity to law enforcement and not our rabbis. I personally believe she is being honest and speaking the truth. I guess these are two very dangerous traits a person can have.

I posting a link to the show below to the radio show so that you an also listen. Let me know if you think what she is saying is really all that dangerous and crazy? If not please start speaking out against the attacks against the only Jewish survivors organization that's out here. It's time to stop the game playing. It's time for survivors to UNITE!

Listen to the Show - A Jewish Perspective On Child Sexual Abuse
Segment 1
Vicki shared the story of starting The Awareness Center in Chicago, then moving it to Jerusalem and eventually to Baltimore to provide much-needed resources for the Jewish community in dealing with sexual violence.
Segment 2
Vicki shared the difficulty survivors have in finding help with sexual abuse since many rabbis are not trained in handling these situations. In addition, sex offenders are often allowed to remain in the community without getting adequate help.
Segment 3
Vicki outlined the goals she has for The Awareness Center to provide educational certification for rabbis, cantors and other Jewish community leader. She also hopes to create an International Conference and a healing/retreat center for survivors.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Vicki reads this. I don't know where I'd be today if I didn't call The Awareness Center. She really mentored me in ways that no one else could.

I called other Jewish organizations who really left me feeling shamed. Vicki you helped me carry on.

April 15, 2007 9:46 AM  

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