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The secretive nature of the shame borne by victims presents unique challenges to navigate. It has taken our community decades to more openly disclose other deeply personal secrets such as cancer and infertility. Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik described two types of pain, the sensation of physiological pain and the suffering of emotional pain. The suffering of emotional pain – such as shame – he explained, is a much more difficult trajectory than the sensation of physiological pain.

We can never equate one person’s physical pain with another’s emotional suffering. We can, however, demonstrate our resolve not to let those who do, suffer in silence.

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David Mandel is chief executive officer of OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services. He is the co-editor with Dr. David Pelcovitz of “Breaking the Silence: Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community.” He can be reached at dm@ohelfamily.org. Visit OHEL’s website at www.ohelfamily.org

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I never heard of the Ohel outreach programs, so I visited your website to see what kind of assistance you offer victims of sexual abuse. Wow! Your toll-free hot line is only open from 9 to 5, four days a week, and a half-day on Friday! No evenings, no weekends!

    Unfortunately, emotional anguish doesn't punch a clock. And "educating through seminars and books" isn't much support either; in fact, it sounds like a euphemism for fund-raising. Victims need long-term material support, including free legal representation. Get serious!

  2. [This comment was left on JewishPress.com]
    Yehuda Kaploun wrote:
    Are u kidding me ohel who sent children to mondrowitz and tried to stop the market bill. Protecting children.. Mr mandel. Please open up yourrecords so we can see how many cases you covered up

    July 5, 2012 11:23 PM

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