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
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!