Thursday, May 14, 2009


i'm going to go off topic for a minute here. my friend, who goes by the name "getting stronger," wrote this letter to the yated. it didn't get in this week, but there's still hope for next time! i'm posting it because she makes a lot of very good points. happy reading!

Hello everyone.
This is a letter that I wrote to the Yated last week, but they did not publish it. Reading LS's article to the Yated inspired me to write this.

Abuse is rampant in the Jewish community. How can I say that it's rampant? Well, I am a survivor of abuse, and including myself, I know of five people who were abused within a two-block radius. That is five people too many. Dov Hikind has gotten hundreds of calls already from abuse survivors. This means there are probably thousands of Orthodox Jewish people who were or still are being abused.

The abuse that I suffered could have been entirely prevented if I had been educated about this topic at a young age; but, no school says anything. I went through the Bais Yaakov system and not one teacher discussed this topic. If I had been told the basics, nothing detailed, then my abuse wouldn't have started in the first place.

As a result of not knowing about this topic, I suffered in silence for four terrible years. I am now traumatized for life. I get triggered every single day. Even just walking out of my house brings horrific memories to my mind. I now suffer every day from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

Schools need to tell their students about this topic. Without knowledge, the chain just continues. Just shoving the topic under the rug does not make it disappear. Is the Jewish community afraid that something terrible will happen if they educate their children? I asked my therapist why she doesn't go to schools to teach children on a basic level about the topic of abuse. Her reply was, "Schools forbid me from coming." Atrocities are being committed because Jewish children are not being educated on the topic of abuse.

"Trying to forget a fear is like trying to hold an inflated basketball under the water. It takes all of your strength and attention, and in time it must pop to the surface." - Finley Making believe that abuse doesn't occur in the Jewish community makes the entire situation one hundred times worse. It rears its ugly head in other ways. For me, my body is covered in scars since that was the only way I knew how to deal with so much inner pain.

The chain can be broken if our Jewish children are educated. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a thousand pounds of cure. Some people may say, OK, let's only tell the girls since it occurs only among young girls. This is a falsehood. From the five people I know who were abused on two blocks, two of them are boys. Education is the only road to prevention. Without education, the chain just continues. Do something about the situation. Stop the chain. Today.

- Concerned About the Future of Klal Yisrael


  1. you really think its the schools responsibility, not the parents?

  2. getting stronger,
    Well written, I truly hope it gets in and not overly edited. More so I hope you are being successful with your therapy.

    Thanks for passing it on.

    G-d Bless and Kol Tuv,

  3. fakewood-it's a joint responsibility. most abuse happens in the home. is a father who is raping his daughter likely to educate her that it's not ok? no. is a teacher who rapes his students likely to be teaching them that it's not ok? no. both the home and school need to take responsibility for educating children, so that if one slacks off, the other will take over.

    Aba-you're welcome!

  4. well i dont thinks the school should be allowed to teach my kid whatever they want. i will tell my kid whatever im comfortable telling them at that age.

  5. Fake,

    It needs to be a joint effort (parents & teachers) and you're not suggesting a better option for helping children fight abuse . . .

    I understand that maybe the exact parameters of what specifics should be addressed within school is a decision that would need to be refined, but how can you deny that abuse happens at home, and a child isn't likely to learn its abuse without an external outlet?

  6. fakewood, which perverted person would rather keep their children uneducated, leaving them exposed to horrible things rather than have them warned by responsible adults? I don't get you at all...

  7. thats not what i said. i said i want to be the one doing the educating. thanks for attempting to verbally abuse me sir or miss. thanks for trying to make me look like an uncaring person because i feel the schools (read 18 year old inexperienced girls.) teaching my kids about that. thank you sir or miss.

  8. fakewood, you still haven't answered the question. most abuse happens in the home. if it's a parent abusing, and the schools can't educate, who is supposed to do it?

  9. sorry at home its very hard to deal with because even if the school were to teach about it im not sure it would help. because parents can remove kids from school lie so on so forth. my best friend knew about all of this and it still happened to him. only parents can truly protect children. if the parents are messed up then there is very little hope.

  10. if the kid thinks it's normal, it's much harder to deal with. at the very least, every child should have the knowledge that abuse is wrong. can it prevent all abuse? no. can it prevent A LOT of abuse? yes. i still maintain that this needs to be a joint effort. do you live in fakewood ihr hakoidesh, where only tzaddikim gemurim live, and nothing bad ever happens? if so, it explains your attitude.

  11. actually i do like in fakewood ir hamorons. trust me i agree people should be taught but its the parents perogative when and where. if the school, neighbor, friend suspects something they should def keep an eye and ask at that point otherwise no i dont think schools are the right place for it. i know there are molesters and so on i have expirienced it first hand. if you want to hear my story email me privately and i will tell you.

  12. Fakewood- It doesn't have to be the sometimes young and inexperienced teachers that are teaching the kids. When we were in 5th grade they brought a very wise woman to school to teach us about changes to our bodies and becoming a woman and things like that. They could bring in a similarly wise woman to teach kids about abuse.

  13. fakewood, most people who have experienced it firsthand believe that the education needs to be coming from both places. i'd love to hear your story, and maybe a full explanation of why it's not ok for schools to educate students about this matter.

  14. the school system fucked me why would i trust them with that. i want them to teach my kids from the curriculum and thats it nothing else. how to read wright and learn. hashkafa and street smarts will come from home.

  15. this should be a part of the curriculum. guess what? it is in public schools! reading, writing, and arithmetic are not the only important things to get from school. i'm sorry you had a bad experience with school, but for some people, this is the only thing missing from their education.

  16. Fakewood- if it had been your home at fault would you feel differently? Do you really expect a man who is abusing his daughter to simultaneously teach her how wrong it is and how to prevent it? Be real!

  17. i dont think schools are equiped or sensitive enough to teach this. i hate people who put all of it on schools thats why todays youth in general is so messed up parents are just not involved. this is going to be one more things that parents arent involved in. let the schools teach it.

  18. joint, joint, joint. that's the only way it's gonna work!

  19. fw, parents are not involved only if they don't want to be.
    I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience with the school system, but it does not mean that all schools, teachers and educators are messed-up.
    just like in everything in education, there should be an input from both the parents and the school. if you dont trust the school your kids are in to teach them about abuse the right way, maybe just switch schools. but in that case, why would you trust them with educating your children about everything else?

  20. This is a very interesting letter with many legitimate points.

    Fakewood, you don't sound perverted at all...that was a rude thing to why don't you you just mark that insensitive comment with RETURN TO SENDER!!
    ( should take that back...)

    I actually feel your pain, dear. I can understand why you would feel the way you do...(probably related to the reason I puke at the word RABBI...) Why would you want your child educated by the very people who slighted you?
    But in reality, not all schools (or rabbis for that matter)were created equal...
    I work in the school system... a pretty cool one... and I do believe that children can and should be educated... both at home and at school... How graphic one should be depends on the society they are in... some are more open than others... But a child should at least have the knowledge that "any area covered in a bathing suit is private..." and that "if anyone talks or touches him/her in a way that feels uncomfortable he/she should speak to an adult about it."

    Whether a parent feels that they want their child to know more they can do that...But realize that unfortunatly many parents are not capable of talking about this..(for their own reasons or issues)and the void needs to be filled for the safety of our children...

    I FIRMLY BELIEVE that this education should come from a licensed professional and not from our dedicated teachers who also happen to be young and inexperienced...

    May we all find inner peace and serenity...


  21. real me-just one of the points that i didn't get around to making yet

    tova-very well put. the letter is also on the website...

  22. Okay, I'm the first anonymous that made that comment to fakewood and I'm sorry if I hurt you. I ask you forgiveness. I'm not excusing myself but it came out of the heat of the moment, as I am a survivor too. I was abused at home so naturally I wasn't going to get warned or educated about it at home. If my school might have said something, maybe I'd be in a better place today but being that I didn't get taught at home or school, I was abused for too many years and am in a lot of pain because of it.
    Again, I ask you for mechila for the way I wrote.


c'mon, i know you're reading this! what do you think?