Jan 30, 2013

UK's Channel 4 to air investigative report tonight on child abuse in the Orthodox community

Tonight Britain's Channel 4 will be broadcasting an investigative report of child abuse and the reaction, specifically the attempts to keep such incidents under wraps and away from the police, of the Orthodox leadership. As always, it should be noted, this happens everywhere around the world, in all communities, among every sector of society.

Many community leaders around the world (not just Jews, and not just Ultra-Orthodox) still believe in the old methods of dealing with these things of either sweeping it under the carpet or keeping things quiet and trying to deal with things "internally". As we progress, as the world learns more about the damage caused by such abuse, it is incumbent upon us to begin dealing with these incidents using better methods than the old methods that have never really worked. Involving professionals, stopping the abusers, and especially getting them away from their potential victims - and that can only be done by involving the police.

Tonight, Channel 4 will be airing the report at 10:30 PM UK time, that being 12:30 AM Israel time (other countries can figure out their local time on their own), and will be viewable at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/articles/home. It surely will be painful to watch, and unfortunately many will be hurt by it, whether victims reliving their trauma or unconnected people who will be laid to blame as the world stereotypes and then calls all orthodox Jews abusers or involved in cover-ups, but it is an important step in the process of beginning to deal with these situations properly.

In the meantime, Channel 4 has released a trailer of the show.

A victim of child sex abuse in one of Britain's religious communities goes undercover to expose the way his community has for decades been dealing with paedophilia.

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, the man who leads the Strictly Orthodox Jewish community in London's Stamford Hill, is the subject of this secretly filmed interview. He is seen telling a man who says he was sexually abused as a child by a member of this community, that he must not report his claim to the police. He says that this is 'Mesira', meaning that it is forbidden for one Jew to report a fellow Jew to the authorities.

 Jackie (the reporter): We asked Rabbi Padwa to explain his actions. The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (the organisation he heads) sent us this letter ... It says 'The Jewish Community considers the safety and protection of our children as paramount.' It says we [the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations] have established 'Robust structures to deal with child abuse'. And that 'We work and will continue to work with police and social services ... to build trust and to create a system which does address and resolve allegations of abuse within our community'. But it also says, 'The authorities understand that, unfortunately, some in our community would simply not be comfortable participating in a police investigation'.

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1 comment:

  1. What's the big deal?

    One of our own "big" rabbonim is also on tape as saying not to go to the police as he doesn't trust them.

    Wake up people..this is the Charedi shitta!

    No News4 broadcast will change their attitude or the stupidity of those who follow them.


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