Thursday, February 5, 2015

Manny and Zephaniah Waks tell royal commission about sex abuse ordeal at Yeshivah Centre

The only survivor of abuse within Melbourne's Jewish community to speak publicly, he has become a name synonymous with the fight against sexual abuse in the Jewish community worldwide.

However it has come with a cost.

Mr Waks has felt so ostracised by the ultra-orthodox Chabad Jewish community that he moved his family to France to start a new life.

Only days ago he returned to Australia to give evidence at the royal commission, as it hears for the first time allegations of abuse in Jewish institutions.

"You know on the plane ride on the way here I had to pinch myself to say, 'Wow, I'm actually coming to Australia because the royal commission is happening'," he said.

"I've literally been working towards this goal, even subconsciously, for decades."

Mr Waks, 39, was sexually abused by security guard David Cyprus at the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne in the 1990s.

He reported the abuse to senior staff at the centre but he says nothing was done.

It was only years later, when he disclosed the abuse to his father Zephaniah, that they went to police.

"There is still a significant group of rabbis, mainly within the ultra-orthodox community, within the Yeshivah Chabad community, who would not support victims to go to the police," Mr Waks said.

"It causes untold damage.

"The reality is we don't even know how much damage it does because we don't know how many victims are out there thinking, 'I'd better not go because it causes all sorts of things'." [...]

1 comment :

  1. It would be interesting to ask Rabbi Schochet whether he still stands by his article from just a few months ago:


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