This past Wednesday afternoon, a little girl went to her neighbour’s house to pick something up for her parents. A young man is known in the community as a troublemaker stopped her at the entrance of her building, convinced her to follow him downstairs, and performed unspeakable acts on her.
Thank God she told her parents right away, and they contacted JCW. Every available staff member and volunteer immediately began working with parents and the police, checking cameras around the vicinity and reaching out to countless people to find the abuser, who was wearing a yarmulke, black jacket, and white shirt. He was identified via the camera footage and child and he was arrested by SVU detectives in Brooklyn last night, 24 hours after the abuse took place.
As we begin shavuous and summer begin, and our children take to the playgrounds and backyards, this is a strong and powerful reminder to every single parent.
Our children are the future of Klal Yisrael. When Hashem was seeking a guarantor for the Jewish people accepting the Torah, we offered the sun and the moon- he said no. We offered our forefathers- he said no. We offered the prophets- he said no. We offered our children- and finally, God said yes. They are truly worthy, and they are our future.
Dear Parents, how many children have been sexually abused in our community? How many victims turned to drugs and alcohol after hiding their secret for years? How many have left our community after their abuser was believed instead of them?
We cannot sit idly by while our children, the guarantors of the Torah, are taken from us by abuse! You have the obligation as a parent to educate yourself, to build a relationship with your child that encourages trust and sharing.
You have to help them understand that just because someone is dressed like them, with a yarmulke, that doesn’t mean they can be blindly trusted. They need to know that no matter what happens, what they’ve seen or done, you love them and will believe and protect them no matter what
Research tells us that this it takes an average of 10 years for a victim to share the fact that they were abused. This child immediately went straight to her parents to tell them what happened; that is a miracle; that is powerful; that is life-saving; that is education and love!
Child sexual abuse is hard for adults to talk about, and even harder to talk to our children about. But I promise, no matter how uncomfortable it is, it is one thousand times more uncomfortable be sexually abused!
Knowledge is power- to educate and love your children is to empower them!!
Good Shabbos & Good Yomtov