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Radio and TV Campaign Urges Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community to Come Forward
Real Victims Tell Their Stories and Urge Support for Legislation to Expand Reporting of Sexual Abuse Claims
(New York, NY - June 8, 2009) Survivors for Justice, an organization of survivors of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community and their advocates, has embarked on a radio and television public service advertising campaign to encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report the abuse to the police.
Listeners will hear from real victims who were abused as children. They will encourage parents to protect their children from the horror of sexual abuse by contacting state legislators and asking them to pass the Child Victims Act, sponsored by Assembly member Marge Markey and Senator Tom Duane, which is currently pending in the New York State Legislature. The spots also tell those in the Orthodox Jewish community that they must report sexual abuse to the police and not listen to Yeshiva administrators or other religious leaders who encourage families not to report incidents to the secular legal authorities.
Sexual abuse of children is at alarming proportions in the Orthodox community. Schools and their administrators, as well the rabbis who supervise and guide these schools, have covered up sexual abuse for decades, serving to insulate the perpetrators and protect the institutions that harbor them.
Halacha (Jewish law) unequivocally dictates that each one of us with knowledge of sexual abuse has the absolute obligation to report this to the authorities. Failure to do so has resulted in untold pain and anguish at the hands of those who have been given unfettered access to our innocent children.
Sample Radio spot
Hello my name is Joel Engelman. I was molested when I was eight year old by Rabbi Avrohom Reichman in Yeshiva Torah V'yirah d' Satmar. I reported the abuse to the yeshiva and nothing was done.
Why is Rabbi Reichman still teaching young boys in Satmar? Because current law allows it and the yeshiva does not care about the safety of our children.
Please protect your children from the horror of sexual abuse by contacting your legislators and asking them to pass the Child Victims Act.
There is an epidemic of unreported sexual abuse in the Orthodox community; one out of five children is sexually abused by someone they trust, and most victims do not report their abuse until adulthood. Current laws protect sex offenders and not their victims by limiting the time these crimes can be reported. This leaves sex offenders free to continue harming the children.
You can help end this scourge. Contact your representatives in Albany and tell them to pass the child victims act. Five minutes of your time may save a child's life. For more information visit www.survivorsforjustice.org