Rabbi Yakov Horowitz On Abuse

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz writes:

…To address your first question of, “How prevalent is abuse in our community?” my response is that it is far more prevalent than we care to accept or believe. I assure you that things will not improve until we gather the energy and courage to change the culture of denial and stop the destructive habit of hoping that problems will self-correct and go away. I am equally certain that if we do not act to eradicate abuse from our community, others will continue to do it for us in very public and embarrassing ways.…

How many children are we talking about? How many abuse victims are there? I posed this question to the three experts mentioned above. Each of them responded by saying that there is no research that they know of in the frum community and they have no hard numbers. But when I asked if they would say that there are a) tens, b) hundreds or c) thousands [of abused children], each responded that there are surely hundreds. In fact, Dr. Pelcovitz mentioned that he gets about 5 calls per week from parents seeking help for their abused children – or from adults seeking counseling from scars left from childhood abuse. These numbers concur with my understanding of the magnitude of the problem. 

I have worked with the at-risk teen population for more than a decade now, and I think that I have a pretty good feel for the facts on the ground. I also fully understand the power of the written word and the ramifications of columns that are published. So, I am choosing my words very carefully. Here goes:

In my opinion, the number one risk factor – by far – for children abandoning Yiddishkeit is abuse and neglect.

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3 Comments

Filed under Crime, Haredim

3 responses to “Rabbi Yakov Horowitz On Abuse

  1. Jim the Catholic

    G_d is clearly with this Rabbi!

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