The Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse of Children

By Mark Dratch

JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment, RCA Roundtable, 1992

Jewish children, like children everywhere, are the victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Yet, we fool ourselves into thinking, "it can't happen to us." While recent reports in the media have made public that we are not free of this curse, most of the cases in our families, schools, and institutions go unreported or are hushed up and, hence, true statistics are unavailable. This denial has many sources: the incredulity that such ugly behavior can exist among our people always so proud of our exemplary home-life; the fear that it will bring Jews into disrepute; the apprehension that the child victim will have his/her reputation tarnished; and so on. But such a posture by the community remains inexcusable because we thereby shirk our responsibility to our children, denying the victims of abuse the safe haven of a caring and nurturing home and school, and preventing them from growing up with the physical and psychological security they need and deserve. It is for this sin of omission that our entire community must give din vi-heshbon, a complete and unequivocal reckoning. And it is to protect the bodies and souls of our innocent children that we must speak out and act.

Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Communal Responsibility, Children, Violence, 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 Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse of Children. JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment,RCA Roundtable. 1992:


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