Warning Signs Of Child Sex Abuse — And What To Do About It

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION  from the Florida Jewish News, pp. 22, 24 [edited] The Florida Jewish News of Jul 22-Aug 4, 2005 published a lengthy article describing a case of child sexual abuse allegations. Although the accused family was cleared by three governmental bodies, there are still bad feelings and fear in the community. The accused family has sued the accusers and been shunned in the community. How are we, the readers—who are members of our own communities—to use this information? How can we enable it to help us rather than be a source of divisiveness? I offer five points for consideration: Sexual Abuse Exists In Every Community. It is absolutely necessary for the average reader to know, without a doubt, that sexual abuse does exist in every community. From Brooklyn to Florida, from London to Israel, sexual abuse is a problem that has lain hidden under the fear of exposing something ugly and dirty. Unfortunately, this permits perpetrators to continue abusing. Known Sexual Abuse Should Be Reported. The worst fear in reporting sexual abuse is of involving the world in our lives. That fear is understandable, especially in light of the degree to which governmental agencies have so frequently bungled their investigations in past years. Nevertheless, the damage done to victims—which could be a large number of victims from any one individual perpetrator—means the right thing to do is to report known abuse. Damage is an individual matter, but even one inappropriate sexual contact can ruin a life. Don’t ever assume “she” (or he) “will get over it.” They won’t. It is best to report the abuse and see...
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