Monday, August 24, 2015

Prominent US-based haredi rabbis declare obligation to report child abuse to police

Arutz                                        Full text of the letter
We, the undersigned, affirm that any individual with firsthand knowledge or reasonable basis to suspect child abuse has a religious obligation to promptly notify the secular law enforcement of that information. These individuals have the experience, expertise and training to thoroughly and responsibly investigate the matter. Furthermore, those deemed “mandated reporters” under secular law must obey their State’s reporting requirements.
Lives can be ruined or ended by unreported child abuse, as we are too often tragically reminded. The Torah’s statement in Leviticus 19:16, “Do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed,” obligates every member of the community to do all in one’s power to prevent harm to others. In conclusion, every individual with firsthand knowledge or reasonable cause for suspicion of child abuse has a Torah obligation to promptly notify the proper civil authorities.




JPost    More than 100 prominent haredi rabbis and educators from across the US have signed a public declaration stating that it is an obligation of Jewish law on all Jews to immediately notify law enforcement officials when a reasonable suspicion of child abuse exists.

The declaration was described as “an historic watershed” for its broad-based support from a large number of haredi rabbis from major Jewish communities in the US.

The letter addresses the need to prevent and eradicate the epidemic of child abuse adversely affecting the Jewish community.

“We, the undersigned, affirm that any individual with firsthand knowledge or reasonable basis to suspect child abuse has a religious obligation to promptly notify the secular law enforcement of that information,” the declaration reads.

“These individuals have the experience, expertise and training to thoroughly and responsibly investigate the matter. Furthermore, those deemed ‘mandated reporters’ under secular law must obey their state’s reporting requirements.”

The rabbis said in their declaration that “lives can be ruined or ended by unreported child abuse, as we are too often tragically reminded” and cited the biblical injunction “Do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed,” as the basis for reporting suspected cases of abuse.

Among the signatories are Rabbi Nota Greenblatt, the head of the rabbinical court in Mephis, Tennessee, Rabbi Dov Aharon Brisman, head of the rabbinical court in Philadelphia, Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, co-chairman of the rabbinical court of the Agudath Yisrael organization, and Rabbi Yechiel Perr, dean of the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway/Derech Ayson Rabbinical Seminary. [...]



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