This is an abbreviated version of The Jewish Week article, to see the article in it's entirety, go to: thejewishweek.com My comments are at the end.
No Religious Haven From Abuse
New study finds Orthodox women are sexually victimized as much as other American women are.
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Despite the widespread impression in the Orthodox world that sexual abuse doesn’t happen within its precincts, or happens less than in the “outside world,” a report in the November issue of the journal of the American Psychiatric Association says that Orthodox Jewish women suffer as much of it as other American women do.
Twenty-six percent of respondents in a study about the sexual lives and attitudes of married Orthodox Jewish women — 55 percent identifying as Modern Orthodox and about 45 percent as fervently Orthodox — indicated that they had at some point suffered sexual abuse.
That figure is on par with the 25 percent to 27 percent of American women in general, without regard to their marital status or religion,
who have reported in numerous studies that they had been sexually abused.
The new article also says that fervently Orthodox women are more likely than Modern Orthodox women to have experienced sexual abuse, to have experienced it multiple times and to have experienced it the first time before age 13.
Fifty-eight percent of fervently Orthodox women who participated in the study reported experiencing sexual abuse multiple times, according to the article, compared to 39 percent of Modern Orthodox women.
Among the ultra-Orthodox respondents, 20 percent said they had experienced abuse by the age of 13, while among the modern Orthodox respondents it was 12 percent.
“It’s very important to note that this is just a slice,” said Rachel Yehuda, a professor of psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, and one of the paper’s lead authors. “We only studied married women who agreed to be studied, and we have no idea of how representative these women are. More importantly, we didn’t study single women or women who decided not to be Orthodox anymore.
“Nonetheless, the observation that this is not less of a problem here is important. ... One can’t walk away saying Orthodox Judaism is protecting women against abuse,” said Rachel Yehuda.
“We’re not the first to show that heightened religiosity may be a response to trauma,” says Dr. Michelle Friedman, a psychiatrist in Manhattan who is the article’s other lead author. Living an Orthodox life is viewed as “a whole lifestyle of perceived protection and meaning, of clarity and order.”
The article, which focuses just on sexual abuse, is based on information drawn from a broader study of Orthodox married women’s sexual lives and attitudes that Friedman and Yehuda conducted about four years ago. Respondents ranged in age from 19 to 58, and were required to report regular use of a mikveh, or ritual bath, in order to be included in the findings.
The researchers advertised the study in synagogue bulletins, Jewish organizations, newspapers, Jewish listservs and Web sites, and through medical offices, like pediatricians and obstetricians/gynecologists, whose practices include many Orthodox women.
They did not count as abused respondents those who said that their adult experiences had been consensual even if uncomfortable, or said that they had abuse threatened but not carried out, or who experienced something that might not be strictly considered abuse, for example, someone who reported that a stranger fondled her rear end on the street.
Of the 380 respondents, 208 of them defined themselves as Modern Orthodox and 172 described themselves as ultra-Orthodox. The study found that the ultra-Orthodox women were more likely to report that their husbands had forced them to have sex — 5 percent compared to 1 percent of the Modern Orthodox women.
The article hopes to illuminate the need for greater sensitivity to sexual abuse among those who might treat its victims, and also to the reality of its existence in Orthodox Jewish communities.
“Religious life is not necessarily protective of the human condition,” said Friedman. “In theory, it’s clearly forbidden. But in practice it happens, and people suffer.”*****
"Religious life is not necessarily protective of the human condition!"
Why not? What is there to protect if human life is not sacred? And that's why we're here in crazy-land today, the Charedi Orthodox Establishment exposed....butt-naked!
A recent phone call marked as urgent on my e-mail went something like this from a horrified Yiddishe mama.
"Boruch Hashem my daughter got away (divorced) from this very sick kollel man...he forced himself on her - whenever, he anally raped her - whenever, he anally raped a baby girl in his family...the bruises were all over her buttocks.....the police were called finally...to find out after months, that the police report disappeared, not a trace of it!
This kollel man denied all of this to a local bais din and was "believed", although he had a violent sexual abuse history as well as other members of his family!
I called a member of the Moetzes (Agudath Israel leadership)...I spoke to the rebbetzin, the rabbi refused to come to the telephone; I heard him saying in the background" he was exonerated!"
UOJ...I have no further axe to grind with this sick and evil man, my daughter is free and safe....I just wanted to protect his next victim from being condemned to death and worse"! He sodomized a baby... and my daughter....and the rabbi would not come to the phone?"
The numbers and the facts are trickling out....and my self-educated guess on this subject is - that by the time we see the entire picture, there will not be any true believer left, not one! There's a reason Jewish kids are running away from traditional Orthodox Judaism, and that reason is you bogus rabbis!
Thank you Agudath Israel and the rest of you criminals...I hope this sick bastard marries one of your daughters or granddaughters!
Steep rise in child sexual assault complaints among Haredis
By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent - Oct. 29, 2007
The National Council for the Child reports a steep rise in recent weeks in the number of requests for help from child sexual assault victims and their parents. Council head Yitzhak Kadman found that 30 percent of the new requests came from the ultra-Orthodox community, which had previously almost never contacted the organization about sexual assault.
The council provides volunteers, usually law students, who accompany sexual assault victims through the process of filing a police complaint, the investigation and criminal proceeding. More than 1,500 children have been helped in the seven years since this project began.
Kadman said that over the past few weeks, the council had fielded dozens of requests per week. Callers are referred to the council by police, juvenile investigators from the Social Affairs Ministry, welfare offices, doctors, schools and other community facilities.
Kadman sees the awakening of the Haredi sector as a real "breach of barriers." Contrary to expectation, the Haredim who apply for help do not want a Haredi volunteer to assist them, nor do they care whether the volunteer is a man or woman, Kadman said.