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Jewish Community Urges Understanding & Support for Victims of Sexual Abuse

Jewish Community Urges Understanding & Support for Victims of Sexual Abuse

18 July 2011

“Recent allegations of sexual abuse in the Jewish community in Melbourne should be the subject of a thorough and proper investigation by the police with the complete co-operation of the community’” said Jewish leaders this week in a statement issued jointly by the Australian community’s umbrella body, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, together with the Victorian community’s roof body, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria,  the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria.

“Anyone found to have betrayed the trust of children under their care or supervision must be held to account to the full extent of the law", the statement continued. “The abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, is abhorrent, particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority.  All claims of abuse must be treated with the utmost seriousness.”

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria have clearly and repeatedly publicized their position in relation to this matter, namely that it is obligatory to report cases of sexual abuse to the relevant authorities. We echo this position and urge all alleged victims to come forward and provide the police with any relevant information they may have and do everything to assist the police with their enquiries.

We call on the families, friends and advisers of those with claims of abuse to support them in every way, for the sake of helping victims to achieve justice and closure and to prevent further harm to other children. There is no place for victims to be ostracized or ‘punished’ in any way for coming forward and making a complaint.”

“All victims should know that we stand ready to provide any assistance to them that we are able”.

For further information, please contact:

Peter Wertheim,
Executive Director
Executive Council of Australian Jewry
(02) 8353 8500

or

Michelle Coleman,
Executive Director
Jewish Community Council of Victoria
(03) 9272 5579


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