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Statement On Child Abuse

Statement On Child Abuse

07 June 2012

There is a great degree of anxiety and pain within our community on the question of child abuse. 
Child abuse in any form whatsoever and wheresoever it happens, is horrific and beyond understanding. When child abuse occurs either within a home, or within an institution, where a child expects safety and guidance and understanding, the hurt and the bewilderment are exacerbated.  The ramifications, on the victims, on their families and indeed on our entire community, are life-long and cause untold damage.

In July 2011, the JCCV issued a strong and unequivocal statement about its stance on child abuse, asked all those with knowledge of alleged abuse to contact the police and offered assistance. This was followed by a joint statement from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria.

 There seems to be a lack of clarity in the community about the JCCV position. Let me re-iterate it in the strongest possible terms.

Last year, the JCCV condemned all manner of child abuse - sexual, emotional, psychological, physical in the strongest possible terms.  I repeat that condemnation and again offer support to any member of our community, either by way of referral to the appropriate authorities or services, or by way of advocacy.

The time has come when we need to go beyond statements. We must all talk and seek a resolution to the problem. The JCCV proposes to bring together schools, Rabbis and organisational leaders to discuss how we can not only support victims of prior events, but how we can best put in place methodology which will prevent future victims. My hope is that all those who are invited will attend and my further hope is that from this, will come a stronger and better community.

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