(New York, NY): ZAAKAH, an organization that advocates reforms that will end child sexual abuse in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, is protesting outside the President of Agudath Israel on Sunday. The protest will be at the Novominsker Yeshiva – 1644 48th street in Boro Park – on Sunday,July 23rd at 3 PM. The protest is against Agudath Israel’s opposition to the Child Victims Act and their policy that victims must ask a rabbi for permission before reporting sexual assault to the authorities.
“These two policies, coupled, are responsible for the coverups of thousands of cases of child sexual abuse. These policies, enacted and promoted by Yaakov Perlow, are in large part responsible for the continued sexual abuse of children in Charedi communities, and the continued apathy and indifference toward victims of child sexual abuse on the part of Charedi communities.Together, these two policies actually incentivise the coverup of abuse and coercion of victims by setting a goal for rabbis and community members who want to cover up abuse: Since the victim has to go to a rabbi, make sure the rabbi keeps the victim quiet until he turns 23, and it will no longer be an issue.” says Asher Lovy, organizer of the event.
“According to many studies, it takes, on average, between 10 and 30 years for victims to come forward about being abused sexually. Yaakov Perlow, President of Agudath Israel, knows this. He knows the harmful effects of sexual abuse its victims – suicide, PTSD, eating disorders, addiction, problems with relationships, emotional trauma, physical trauma, to name a few – and despite being fully aware of the high costs of treating the effects of child sexual abuse, Yaakov Perlow, and the rest of the Moetzes, continue to set policies for Agudah that not only deny existing victims justice, but put our children’s futures and lives in danger by enabling the continuation of child sexual abuse. Yet they continue to oppose legislation to eliminate the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, and open a 1 year retroactive window for old cases, allowing survivors of child sexual abuse to get justice from their abusers and the institutions that protect them.” said Lovy.
The Child Victims Act (A5885A) will lengthen New York’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, which currently keeps most victims over the age of 23 from seeking any justice in criminal or civil courts. The bill will also allow victims over the age of 23 one year to sue their abuser retroactively.
“In New York, the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse prevents victims from pressing charges after their 23rd birthday. This means there are lots of dangerous sexual predators who are above the law and are working with children. This is a disgraceful thing for New York to do to its children and to abuse survivors”, said Andrew Willis, founder of the Stop Abuse Campaign.
ZAAKAH is dedicated to ending child sexual abuse within the Charedi communities.
For more information email Asher@zaakah.org.