The 411 on 911: Reporting Jewish Abusers to the Civil Authorities

By Mark Dratch

JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment, February 22, 2006

Judaism insists that we have a religious duty and moral obligation to protect all members of our community, especially the most vulnerable, including children and adults who are victims of sexual, physical and emotional violence, abuse and impropriety. Failure to protect another in need is a violation of the biblical verses, "You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor" (Lev. 19:16) and "And you shall love your friend as yourself (Lev. 19:18)." Failure to act can constitute a hillul Hashem, a desecration of God's Name. Although nothing can guarantee absolute safety, there are many means available to victims so that they can be as safe as possible under the circumstances they face. It is important for a victim to develop a safety plan with the help of therapists or domestic violence advocates. These plans may include, among other things, creating a network of supportive family, neighbors and friends; identifying shelters and other social service assistance available to meet immediate and long term needs; identifying a place to live if she chooses to leave her home; depositing keys, important papers, cash, credit cards, medical records, clothing, etc. in a safe and secure place in case they are needed; and understanding the legal options such as calling the police and obtaining an order of protection.

Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Communal Responsibility, Justice, Emotional Support, Abuse, Jewish Text, Crime

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Genre: Report

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Dratch, Mark. The 411 on 911: Reporting Jewish Abusers to the Civil Authorities. JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment. 22 February 2006:


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