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Sunday, May 04, 2014
This weekend, BBC World Service is repeatedly running a half-hour segment by reporter Matt Wells, titled "Betraying the Faith: Abuse in Jewish Brooklyn."
Betraying the Faith: Abuse in Jewish Brooklyn
New York’s Brooklyn district is home to more than 200,000 Ultra-Orthodox Jews who live in close-knit enclaves, according to strict religious laws.
A culture of secrecy and denial is said to have surrounded the crime of child sexual abuse in this area, with some rabbis preferring to deal with it internally, rather than calling in police. Their religious codes are said to have protected abusers and many victims also accuse civil prosecutors of helping shield perpetrators.
These cover ups are rooted in the concepts of 'mesirah' - not handing people
over to the secular authorities - and the desire among some
in the ultra-Orthodox communities to protect abusers,including many rabbis, at any cost.
In this program, reporter Matt Wells hears from one man who says he was sexually
abused in a religious bath house but thrown out of summer camp for speaking out.
Supporters of the abused say hundreds of people have suffered but that even when cases
get to the secular authorities, there has been a cover up.
Matt Wells also talks to rabbis who can’t agree themselves how cases of sex abuse
should be handled.
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this program then there are support groups
who have been set up to help.
CHECK PROGRAMMING TIMES IN YOUR AREA: LISTEN TO THE AUDIO: