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Breaking of Silence of Sexual Abuse and Molestation in Orthodox Jewish Communities

By Robert Fernicola, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


For years, the public has heard horror stories on how the Catholic Church in dioceses throughout the United States and abroad knew about sex abuse and molestation cases yet stood by or even helped thwart investigations regarding the same. An interesting article was recently posted at the Ashbury Park Press (New Jersey) Website titled Orthodox Moves to End Silence. The article details instances where children were sexual assaulted or abused yet little to no action was taken by community leaders to address or investigate the problem. Tight knit religious communities internalize many functions and incidents without involving outside authorities. Unfortunately, many sexual abuse and assault incidents including those in or around the Orthodox Jewish Communities may have been “swept under the rug” rather than properly investigated and prosecuted. The fact that a crime is committed by a religious person or in or near a religious community does not change the fact that a crime has been committed. This is a simple maxim apparently is more complicated when dealing the intricacies of religious culture and community.

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