I want to talk about the pain

I want to talk about the pain. It comes back now and it’s just as intense and as stabbing as it was then. It is amazing how imaginary pain can feel so real. But it isn’t the imaginary pain I want to talk about. I think that will disappear when I can finally deal with […]

Words of advice from one survivor to another

Last month JCW Israel finished its first women’s survivors support group in Jerusalem. At the end of the group we asked the amazing participants to share their words of wisdom and advice to survivors.   Here is the last of a series essays we have shared over the past month. *** PLEASE don’t ever judge […]

We are survivors of the night

I put on my pajama pants. Tie the draw strings real tight. I then put on my second pair. Tie the draw strings real tight. Again, I put on my third pair. Tie the draw strings real tight. Next, I move my dresser and chair to barricade my bedroom door. Lastly, I wrap my blanket […]

You Will Be OK

Last month JCW Israel finished it’s first women’s survivors support group in Jerusalem. At the end of the group we asked the amazing participants to share their words of wisdom and advice to survivors who are early on in their journey of healing, a place very familiar to every one of them from not that […]

Am I putting my son in danger?

By Pattie Fitzgerald,  child safety educator, founder of www.safelyeverafter.com and prevention education adviser to JCW. When our kids are very young, it’s often easier to control who they play with and what they’re doing.  As they grow up, we often question when to let go or what types of relationships are safe or healthy.  A […]

“Is Silence Always Golden?” – Reflections on the Maklev Case

By Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman. I am very hesitant to write what I am about to say. There is no doubt that some will feel that ‘sweeping the dirt under the rug’ is the best policy. And there are those who will question my decision to write by claiming, “Why discuss uncomfortable issues? Those who […]

Daddy, I hate you and I hate that I hate you!

You can’t be who I want you to be. No matter what I tell myself, no matter what I try so hard to believe, no matter what I see or don’t see, you can’t be the daddy of my dreams. You can’t be the man who comforts me in the middle of the night when […]

I’m a survivor: on pesach, redemption is what I need

It’s 2015 and I was sitting at the seder table, Hearing the story of my ancestors being freed, I began to cry in silence, Because redemption is what I need. The Jews in Egypt went through hell, Burying each other because it was too much to survive, I think of days I am falling apart, […]

Preventing Abuse in Jewish Organizations that Serve Youth: Ten Policies to Create Safer Environments

By Shira M. Berkovits It is critical for leaders of youth-serving organizations (YSOs) to adopt child-protection policies proactively, before they are faced with a problem. Policies clarify acceptable and unacceptable behaviors that guide adults to model safe interactions with children. When a policy is well communicated, it becomes integral to institutional culture and its violations […]

The scars of my past

By Bracha Braun Summer is coming. It’s a time when I always get stares for the scars of my past. People cannot understand why someone would want to physically harm themselves and I understand that there’s not even a way for me to explain it because you’ve had to have gone through something that made […]

Seeing You In An Orange Jumpsuit

Seeing you in orange is the last image in my head Replacing the ones where you control my life instead Keeping me silent for over a decade and then some Holding me hostage to the fear, all numb Well I’m not a bad person for outing you You are cruel for having done what you […]

Focusing A Light On Abuse

By: Dr. Michael J. Salamon. Published in the Jewish Press. March 3 marked a turning point. On that day, Newsweek magazine published an article titled Child Abuse Allegations Plague the Hasidic community. (True, there have been other articles in major media outlets about abuse in Orthodox communities but this is the first time the problem […]

An Open Letter From Eli Nash To Rabbi Herschel Lustig

Rabbi Lustig, it’s been over a year since JCW publicly demanded that you step down from your position as Principal of Ohelei Torah. You have not stepped down nor have you responded to their accusations. It’s time you do one or the other. I know that there are many students who love and respect you. […]

15 Unmeasurably Painful Things Said To Me and Other Victims Of Abuse

“I don’t believe you” “Just get over it” “i don’t know why you are so caught up with this. It happened so many years ago” “Let it go. The past is in the past” “He/she was too young to have abused you” “Do you even know what abuse is?” “Shhhh… It’s Loshon Hara” “That isn’t […]

How to respond to abuse in Jewish schools

By Guila Benchimol, published in the Canadian Jewish News In the last few weeks, two men currently and formerly living in Toronto’s Jewish community have been arrested and charged with crimes of a sexual nature. Stephen Joseph Schacter, who taught at Eitz Chaim Schools between 1986 and 2004 as well as at United Synagogue Day […]

A survivor Writes To Her Therapist

Over and over you ask me what I’m feeling. I want to scream in frustration, “I don’t know!” I don’t know how to describe what’s going on inside. There is turbulence, my stomach rolls, everything shakes. My head is full of things that I want to say, but I can’t seem to get my mouth […]

Teaching Kids to Recognize Grooming

Republished from schoolcounselingbyheart.com When thinking about perpetrators of child sexual abuse, many people picture an image of a creepy stranger. Parents and schools generally do a pretty good job of teaching their kids about “stranger danger.” But this is not where most of the danger lies. The vast majority of sexual abusers are known to […]

“Mommy, why don’t I know my uncles” The pain of incest

Dear God, It’s hard to feel and be in my life. I want to forget. I feel shattered. I feel broken. Today is my daughter’s sixth birthday. Six years of her having a safe, protective and loving environment. Six years of tender love from my husband and myself. Her voice was always heard, never crushed. […]