web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Prioritizing Our Children’s Safety As We Approach The New School Year


Family-logo

Abuse Cover-Up Scandals – Learning From The Mistakes Of Others

The recent molestation cover up scandals which rocked the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America resulted from the desire to deal with pedophiles “internally” to avoid scandal, prevent people losing faith in G-d, and protect the identity of victims and their families. The Church learned that it was not the actual molestation by priests that was the catalyst for many followers to leave the fold. Rather, it was the molestation coupled with the cover-ups which turned people off. Allowing pedophile priests to go unreported, and moving them from parish to parish where they still had contact with vulnerable children, was unforgivable and sacrilegious. It was also expensive and cost the Catholic Church more than $2.6 billion in abuse-related costs.

A similar abuse cover-up scandal recently hit the Boy Scouts of America — the respected long standing club founded in 1910 — where every Scout takes an oath to be faithful, trustworthy, loyal, kind, brave and courteous. The Boy Scouts of America is so venerated that for the past 100 years, every President of the United States has been its honorary president. Nevertheless, last year an Oregon jury awarded former boy scout Kerry Lewis $18.5 million for the years of abuse by his scout leader, Timur Dykes, in the 1980’s. This is one of the largest punitive damages award to a single plaintiff in a child abuse case in the United States. Ironically, the Boy Scouts of America, an American hallmark organization, founded to teach moral values has evolved into a large corporation with a huge portfolio of assets and property, lost touch with its original purpose and has settled 60 similar abuse cases.

While the media were inundating the public with revelations of abuse cover up, the American public was hurting and in need of guidance. Oprah Winfrey, the popular talk-show host, stepped up to the plate and interviewed over 200 adult men who were child molestation victims. She advised people on where to turn for help and also featured a program of confessed molesters who shared their experiences. Mr. Lanning explained that Winfrey exonerated victims because they were young and innocent at the time of molestation. However, there are other victims to exonerate, such as those who were older, and may have consented to and even enjoyed the molestation. These victims still harbor guilt and shame and need reassurance that they too are innocent and blameless. The following is a summary of information culled from my extensive research and experience counseling youth in our community.

Key Elements Parents Should Know About Child Molestation

Stranger Danger Myth

The majority of molesters know their victims; they are called “Acquaintance Molesters.” They are one of us, look like us, do not have “bad” character traits and are generally known as “nice.” These molesters have always existed, but society, organizations and the criminal justice system have been hesitant to accept this reality.

Grooming Process to Seduce the Child

Targeting the Victim – Offenders look for vulnerable children with emotional needs and low self-esteem. Children from dysfunctional families or with learning disabilities are prime targets. Gaining Victims and Victim’s Parents’ trust – The offender earns the trust of the child and his parents by observing and compiling information about the child and his needs without raising suspicion.

Filling a Need – As the offender begins to fill the child’s needs, often showering the child with attention, gifts and affection, he becomes increasingly important in the child’s life. Isolating the Child – Offender creates situations to be alone with the child, such as babysitting, tutoring, mentoring, coaching and creating a “special” relationship.

Making the Relationship Physical – Offender desensitizes the child through various physical activities, such as playing games or swimming, and then exploits the child’s natural curiosity. Maintaining Control – Once the abuse occurs, offenders use secrecy and blame to maintain the child’s continued participation and silence. The child becomes entangled, confused and dependent on the offender.

How Parents Can Protect Their Children

Communication – Parents should communicate with their children in open, non-frightening discussions and explain that no one may touch them in certain private areas; and if anyone tries to, they should tell their parents. Children who are unable to communicate with their parents are the most vulnerable and, therefore, ideal victims. Parents need to listen to what their children are saying and encourage them to speak.

For example, a child asks: “Mommy, what do you think of my new teacher, Mr. Jones?” The wrong answer would be “You should be so happy that he came into your life; he’s helping you so much!” The right answer would be “Why do you ask; tell me what you think.”

Awareness – Be Aware of Certain Facts on Pedophiles:

Although most victims of child molestation do not become offenders, research indicates many offenders are former victims, older than 25, single or married.

About the Author: Ruchie (Rachel) Freier, Esq. is a practicing Charedi attorney, admitted in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, with offices in Brooklyn and Monroe. In 2008 she founded B’Derech, the organization advocating for chassidic youth. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Children & the Law and New York City Family Court Attorney Volunteer Program. She can be reached at freieresq@aol.com or 718-259-4525.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Prioritizing Our Children’s Safety As We Approach The New School Year”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ismail Haniyeh, highest ranking Hamas member in Gaza, pictured Nov. 25, 2012.
Hamas Leader’s Daughter Treated in Israeli Hospital; #BDSFail
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Ruchie Freier
Family-logo

As the new school year begins, we parents must gain insight into one of the common causes of youth at risk — abuse and molestation. It is a highly sensitive issue generally deemed the domain of mental health professionals and community leaders, with a host of significant halachic ramifications, such as raglayim l’davor – meaning reasonable suspicion, which is the halachic threshold to permit reporting to authorities under the rules of mesira.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/prioritizing-our-childrens-safety-as-we-approach-the-new-school-year/2011/09/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: