We are 13 and 15 year old sisters and we were both sexually abused These letters were submitted by two sisters who were molested from a very young age over a period of more than three years by an adult, male cousin who would often stay in their home. These letters speak to the pain and suffering endured by these young girls, to the trauma that continues to haunt […]

We are 13 and 15 year old sisters and we were both sexually abused

These letters were submitted by two sisters who were molested from a very young age over a period of more than three years by an adult, male cousin who would often stay in their home. These letters speak to the pain and suffering endured by these young girls, to the trauma that continues to haunt them, to the sense of betrayal and loss that no child should ever know.

15 year old sister:

Since the day I was molested my life has never been the same. My life changed when that filthy monster decided to take advantage of my innocence. When I was shown pornography I was shocked. They were shown to me by someone whose appearance was very chassidish. I don’t know what stopped me from telling my parents, but I decided this would be my secret and I wouldn’t share it with anybody.

Once, when this vicious monster was at our house he somehow made his way into my bedroom without bothering to get permission or knock on the door. It was Shabbos so my closet light was on. I was reading with my closet door open for light. He walked into my room and into my closet so no one passing in the hallway would be able to see him. I looked up from my book and wanted to say something but I froze I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He pulled down his pants. I looked back down to my book and pretended I was reading, although I couldn’t. I was too disturbed to continue reading. Afterwards, he just walked out as if nothing happened. I kept having intrusive thoughts and images. I still could not to tell my parents. If I had known what would happen next I would have told my parents everything.

What happened next caught me by surprise. I had been warned about these things, but never in my wildest dreams did I think they could really happen and definitely not to me. I was in bed and almost sleeping, my eyes were already closed. Suddenly, the monster entered my room. He stuck his harmful hands under my pajama shirt and touched my breast. He said “you have a beautiful body.” I had a very difficult time falling asleep that night. I wanted to put a stop to what was happening. I didn’t want it to continue. Every time a thought or picture would intrude I would tell myself that I’d tell my parents. But I was too embarrassed to tell them. I tried to push it out of my head and forget what happened. The burden of carrying my secret wasn’t easy, it just kept getting harder. I knew one day it would come out, but I didn’t know when. In the end, my parents found out about what had happened through my sister who was also abused by this same man.

13 Year old sister:

Hi, I am a thirteen year old Chassidic girl who lives in the New York area. I am in eighth grade.

My parents opened our home to a 19 year old cousin of mine who was having numerus issues. He would stay by us often for shabbos and Yom tov.

We always assumed he was a quiet boy who couldn’t even hurt a fly.

We slept separately. However, he still managed to lay his hands on me at every opportunity.

I was about nine years old when the molestation actually started. It lasted for three and a half years – even after he got a married – until my parents found out by chance.

He molested me. He exposed himself to me. He showed me pornography. He followed me around everywhere. Even when I went to play outside, he kept looking out of the window to make sure he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to touch me. Because I might be coming in for a drink. No one suspected anything unusual.

My mother now looks back at it and says “Now I know why he was always pacing up and down the hallways.” He seemed so innocent. My parents thought it was his nature to pace.

He abused me all over my house, he did it in his bedroom, my bedroom, in the bathroom, dining room, kitchen and even my parents’ bedroom where I was hiding from him.

One day, I was walking with my married sister and asked her a question on one of the porn videos I was shown of him having relations with his wife. (He touched me also when his wife was in my house.) She asked me how I came up with such a question being that I was only twelve and a half years old. I proceeded to tell her about two porn clips that I was shown. Her reaction was “Did he ever touch you?” With my permission she told my parents.

My parents tried working it out with my extended family quietly, but her pleas fell onto deaf ears. They told us it’s our problem not theirs. Nobody supported us, not even my grandparents.

My parents, my siblings and my youngest aunt fully support me.

Our extended family doesn’t speak to us. They keep on harassing us, and anything bad that happens in the family, we are always accused of causing it.

Now, nine months later. We are in the process of resolving it through the court system. If I will have to go testify. I will be the youngest religious victim of sexually abuse to go testify. My extended family will have to learn the hard way that victimizing the victim is not the correct option to choose. I proudly state that I will be more than glad to pave the way for many Jewish victims and to open up their sealed lips. Hopefully they will not have to endure the terrible harassment my family went through.

It’s hard for me to express how much this has affected me. While it was happening it killed me in the inside. It has effected every part of my life, including the way I sleep, think and my relationships. However, the harassment after the abuse has had a greater effect on me than the actual abuse.

To anybody who has a case of sexual abuse in their family: listen to the victim. It’s NOT the victims fault. Support the victim and it will make it easier for them to recover. Don’t blame the victim. I feel I can’t recover fully till my extended family will stop harassing my family.

To all the victims of sexual abuse: tell your parents right away. Don’t wait till it fully kills you in the inside. Take care of it before it becomes worse. Get the help you need to overcome your trauma. BE STRONG!

JCW has created a supervised email account to which you can send notes of support and encouragement to the sisters.

Let’s let these brave girls know that they have all the support in the world! Email Warriorsisters20@gmail.com or leave a comment on Facebook.

Posted in media, op-eds, survivors-letters.


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