Thursday, May 12, 2016

Agudah director of public affairs and regular newspaper columnist Rabbi Avi Shafran declared, “We do not oppose extending or even eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for cases of abuse. Our concern is simply protecting the economic viability of Jewish schools. Yeshivas operate on shoestring budgets.”

What is the Difference Between a Sociopath, a Compulsive, a Pathological, a Chronic, and a Habitual Liar? No Difference At All  for Shafran! All Bunched Into One!

A Sociopath

A sociopath is typically defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. A sociopath is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused—it is done to get one’s way). Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. Sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways.

Compulsive Liar

A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not overly manipulative and cunning (unlike sociopaths), rather they simply lie out of habit—an automatic response which is hard to break and one that takes its toll on a relationship (see how to cope with a compulsive liar).

The terms Pathological Liar, Habitual Liar and Chronic Liar are often used to refer to a Compulsive Liar




  “After decades of denial, cover ups and darkness across New York State, light is finally being shone on the scourge of child sexual abuse,” read the petition signed by scores of high-profile leaders. We are embarrassed that New York State ranks among the very worst in the US, on how the courts and criminal justice system treat survivors of child sex abuse. It is time for some religious leaders to stop playing games and get on board with the Child Victims Act,” said longtime bill advocate Mark Meyer Appel.


Gov Cuomo Silent on Markey Child Victims Act; Agudah Still Opposes Reformative Bill

The Markey Bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) seeks to eliminate time limits in criminal and civil cases of child sexual abuse.

According to published reports in the New York Daily News, those who are not in the forefront of the movement to reform child sex abuse laws that in their current state provides legal protection for the adult predator and not the victim include Governor Cuomo, Senate GOP leader John Flanagan, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

During a recent huddle of the legislators in Albany, such matters as the state’s heroin problem, mayoral control of the schools and budgetary issues were discussed but there was nary a reference to reforming the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases.

New York’s archaic statute of limitations sharply limits the time victims have to bring charges against a molester. A victim must come forward within five years after the age of 18 to bring criminal or civil charges against their abuser or any agency or organization that should have reported the crime.

As was reported in the Daily News, New York City lags behind states like Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah, all of which in the past several years have passed bills that lengthened the time victims have to bring their cases to court.

Given the emotional and psychological devastation that victims of child sexual abuse endure they are often slow to come to grips with their past. Some are unable to do so until middle age or even later in life but certainly not before the age of 23. Furthermore, in our religious communities, by limiting the right to sue and prosecute to the age of 23 has created a situation where victims of abuse may have lost a chance for closure to come forward with charges regarding the abuse suffered.

For the last decade efforts to pass the Child Victims Act have failed four times. They had first passed the Assembly and eventually got stymied in the state Senate. Speaking to the Daily News, Carmen Durso, an attorney who initiated a successful campaign to reform the laws pertaining to statute of limitations in 2012 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said, "I can't believe that New York has the worst statute of limitations. That's a national shame.”

According to a 2010 National Institutes of Health study, those championing reform have said that 80% of those who were abused as children wait until their adult years before discussing the matter publicly or filing charges against the abusers. The paper reported that in Massachusetts, a victim can file criminal charges as long as 27 years after their 16th birthday.

One of the Jewish groups that have consistently opposed the Child Victims Act is the Agudath Israel of America which represents haredi Orthodox schools and synagogues. According to a JTA report, the group says the bill would open up institutions to “ancient claims and capricious litigation,” as they had written in a 2009 statement it issued with the haredi schools network Torah Umesorah.

Speaking to the JTA, Agudah director of public affairs and regular newspaper columnist Rabbi Avi Shafran declared, “We do not oppose extending or even eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for cases of abuse. Our concern is simply protecting the economic viability of Jewish schools. Yeshivas operate on shoestring budgets.”

Proponents of reform in the statute of limitations have implied that institutions that oppose the reform measures are doing so in order to protect the reputation of the school or facility they represent rather than focusing on the mental and emotional well being of the victim. They also assert that their priority is ensuring that they won’t be sued so that they can remain financially solvent.

JTA also reported that Marci Hamilton, a professor at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law and an organizer of SOL Reform said, “They are most interested in keeping the civil lawsuits from happening because that is where all of the secrets and cover-ups come out. It is about image and power.”

She added that criminal cases focus narrowly on the perpetrator’s actions rather than institutions that may have protected him.

“Only through a civil case can you document an institution’s negligence and the way it failed children. The problem is that they won’t fix their internal procedures unless there are civil claims, because they don’t have to,” Hamilton said.

Speaking to Newsweek magazine for a recent article on the subject of child sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, Rabbi Shafran said “I think there is little doubt that the extent and seriousness of abuse in society at large was underappreciated for decades until relatively recently Unfortunately, the Orthodox community was likewise unaware of the degree and severity of the problem in its own midst. That, though, has changed.”

Rabbi Shafran has been at the center of controversy on this issue for a number of years as several years ago, a public outcry was heard over an article on child sexual abuse that he had penned in 2012.
According to a response to the article which ostensibly attacked other writers who charged the Orthodox community with intentionally covering up child sex abuse cases, Rabbi Eidensohn on the Daas Torah blog wrote:

“In his article, Rabbi Shafran seems to feel that there is a conspiracy to assert that child abuse is a more serious problem in the Orthodox community than in the rest of the world. In particular he focuses on two writers who have dealt with the topic of abuse in the Orthodox community - Robert Kolker of NY Magazine and Hella Winston of the Jewish Week.

Furthermore he claims that it can't be because of the positive Torah values and fear of G-d. That is a defense which can be rejected by anyone who has followed cases such as Mondrowitz or Weingarten. These cases weren't exceptions but unfortunately follow a fairly common patter of denial and cover ups.”

Catholic schools have also piped up in terms of stating their opposition to the reformation of the statute of limitations. Speaking to the New York Daily News, Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “We still oppose the concept of a retroactive window for old abuse cases because of the difficulty in defending such old cases.”

He add that the “statute of limitations exist in the law to try to protect due process and serve justice. Over time, witnesses die, evidence is lost and memories fade. He said that they support a rival bill in New York that would raise the current age of statute of limitations by five years, to 28 years old.