When we entrust the education and care of our children to members of the community, group leaders, teachers, neighbours, private tutors or babysitters, we assume that they are trustworthy because they are qualified or are ‘nice neighbours’.
Children are by nature more trusting and have not yet developed the maturity and worldliness to foster the necessary suspicion to keep them safe. The responsibility is naturally placed upon the parents.
Abuse is a taboo topic. This isn’t generally a subject mentioned at any stage whether it’s in school, dating and later on, marriage and children. This causes the additional pressure on any victim against coming forward for fear of being a ‘moiser/informer’ and the potential of ruining their own shidduch/dating prospects.
Abuse can and does happen within the Jewish community and unfortunately there is not yet a system in place that assists in dealing with it. Abuse, like disease and mental illness, has the ability to occur in any home.
There are no typical victims of child abuse; any child can be victimised, however, many preventative measures are put in place.
It behoves each parent and guardian to educate themselves in preventative measures, as well as a procedure for the after effects in accordance with English law.
Until we educate ourselves the unfortunate cycle of abuse will continue.