Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why Jewish leaders want abusers to pay: The Torah tells us it is never too late to pursue justice

 update   Arutz 7

Orthodox activists ask NY to change sex abuse reporting laws

Activists and victims to lobby New York's state capital demanding statute of limitations be lifted for child sex abuse.
Advocates for sexual abuse victims in the Orthodox Jewish community will be descending on New York's state capital on May 3 to lobby the legislature to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sex abuse offenses. A bill to change the statute of limitations has languished for years in a state legislative committee committee, due in large part to opposition from the Catholic Church and Agudath Israel of America.
The bill, known as the Child Victims Act, would "completely eliminate the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse offenses in the future," according to SOL Reform, an advocacy group that is sponsoring a series of panels and news conferences May 3 and 4.
It would also suspend the civil statute of limitations for one year, during which time the accuser could bring a civil lawsuit against a private educational organization no matter how far back the alleged abuse dates.
While the bill passed the New York State Assembly, it has been blocked in the State Senate in the decade since it was introduced.


 update to update: The comment below was not written by Zvi Gluck of Amudim nor was it meant to convey the message that abusers should not be reported to the police or that abusers should not go to jail.

update: just received the following critical comment against this article for publication from someone who deals the child abuse and its consequences on a regular basis
I was, and still am, opposed completely to the proposed Markey Law in NYS. It would have satisfied only the senseless, bloodthirsty fanatics who call themselves advocates, and falsely claim to save neshamos.  That law would have accomplished nothing.

For abuse, there is a built in limitation, called time.  Once at a certain point in time, presenting evidence becomes difficult, if not close to impossible.  No one can be blamed for that – it is part of the creation that HKB”H fashioned.  Even memories become less reliable, and may not be enough to convict.  Yes, Hashem created a metziyus that would prevent someone from being charged and convicted.  No legislature needs to make that into law, and those that do are blasphemous in trying to claim the metziyus for themselves.

There is, yet, another factor that must be considered.  The role of publicity.  Today, if someone makes a claim publicly against someone, it is not even tried in the court of public opinion, it is granted automatic conviction.  That has been exploited by the “advocates” who are obsessed with destroying people.  I count myself among those who are comfortable with exiling pedophiles to a child free island.  If they expire there, there is rarely a loss for mankind. I am not nice about that.

But the ease with which someone’s life can be destroyed is not okay. The advocates are drunk with glee when there is an accusation to make.  No investigation, no verification.  And, yes, there are plenty of false claims.  I have encountered plenty of them.  It is not uncommon for parents to create the claim, when the children never suggested it.  I don’t know percentages, and frankly do not care. False claims If we allow falsehood to become part of law, it trashes the credibility of the truth.

My two cents. I do not think this should get published.Simple reason – it will trigger the “advocates”, and this will divert the thread into a war.

There is a new organization called Amudim.  For a change, it is dedicated to the welfare of the child, assisting in multiple ways. There is no focus on the media.  It is a welcome (sadly needed) service to Klal Yisroel.


NY Daily News

The famous joke goes: two Jews, three opinions. Yet last week, more than 100 Jewish leaders from across the religious and ideological divides came together, with one voice, to declare their support for statute of limitations reform for child abuse victims in New York State.

Why statute of limitations reform, and why are Jewish leaders lining up behind this bill? Because it’s our obligation as men and women of faith who purport to help people heal. And it is, I believe, our obligation as followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After decades of denial, cover-ups and darkness, the light is finally shining on the scourge of child sexual abuse. Today, we better understand the high rate of its prevalence, the lasting and far-reaching damage caused by abusers, and the extreme difficulty survivors face in coming forward and seek justice. Tragically, New York State’s regressive laws prevent many victims from getting the justice they deserve and from stopping abusers from causing more harm.

While mental health experts have shown that it can take decades for a victim of child sexual abuse to overcome the fear, shame and trauma of abuse and come forward, our statutes allow someone to pursue criminal or civil justice only until the victim turns 23.

As a rabbi, I have met people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who are only now coming to grips with what happened to them as children, and only now able to come forward. New York law fails these victims by giving a victim only five years from the time they enter adulthood to act.

New York state has been ranked among the very worst, alongside Mississippi, Alabama and Michigan, for how the courts and criminal justice system treat survivors of child sex abuse.[...]

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