Sunday, November 22, 2009

Abuse

It's nice that the Jewish community has woken up to the problems that sexual abuse causes. I'm glad it's being addressed. I think it's wonderful.

That doesn't mean that our community should focus explicitly and especially upon that kind of abuse to the exclusion of all others. There are a lot of different types of abuse. There's domestic abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, verbal abuse and so forth. It's great that we've been concentrating on sexual abuse, but all the other types I have mentioned also ruin people's lives.

If you have teachers in schools who are abusing the kids in any way, and that's not limited to sexual abuse, you should think carefully about what's going to happen to those kids they teach. I can assure you it's not going to be good for them. It's a lot to live through and to live with and it's hard if not impossible to put broken people back together again. An abused kid is someone who got hurt and she/ he has to live with that for the rest of their life.

11 comments:

Shadesof said...

"That doesn't mean that our community should focus explicitly and especially upon that kind of abuse to the exclusion of all others"

I agree.

I think molestation/sexual abuse was the hardest for the commuinity to deal with for more than one reason, and therefore came last. It therefore also requires the most consistent public focus.

Domestic abuse was also a novel concept when first discussed. See the following article by Dr. Twerski in the Jewish Action ten years ago, describing the novelty of the topic and certain opposition to it.

http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/5758/spring98/shondeh.htm

Because of sexual abuse, yeshivos are probably much more sensitive to any violence and physical abuse, and therefore would not allow a rebbe to hit today(there was in fact a discussion about hitting in yeshivos on the Dov Hikind Show about two years ago).

As far as verbal abuse, that obviously shouldn't be tolerated. Perhaps because the issue of "Kids at Risk" is constantly being talked about in public, yeshivos are also more sensitive about the need for teachers to connect with students in a warm way, which would obviously exclude verbal abuse.

Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

Shadesof said...

Hope the link works now:

http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/5758/spring98/shondeh.htm

Anonymous said...

Chana, keep your head up & think forward. Please don't focus on your past. You're absolutely right, but it won't help you now if you look backward.

dman said...

Shadesof:

I don't think that the community is yet dealing squarely with the abuse issue. It saddens me to have to write this, but that is how things seem.

Anonymous said...

Just A Thought: All abuse is horrific and none should be accepted and allowed in our communities. It is sad to think that those among us might need years of therapy for cruel words thrust upon them by those whose job is to nurture. However- it is not the same as the results of sexual molestation- the most horrific and devastating of events. Lets not cloud the waters but deal with each in its own realm.

Anonymous said...

Non Nov 22 2009 11:44 pm said:"...don't focus on your past"

Anon, unfortunately there are teachers who are not able to address the needs of the gifted students. They bash these students because that's the only way they can exercise control. I believe that the reason Chana is focused on the past is because these lousy horrible teachers are still at large, hurting other children by their narrow-mindidness, intolerance and desire to rule no matter what. And the school administration does absolutely nothing . I know exactly where Chana is coming from. I've been there myself.

Roger Waters said...

Nothing new here...

Like Pink used to sing:

"When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children anyway they could
by pouring their derision upon anything we did
exposing any weakness however carefully hidden by the kids."

SkokieGirlGoneEast said...

Interesting timing on this one. I've had these questions on my mind these last few days. Why aren't all kinds of abuse (better) dealt with in the Orthodox world? Where is the moral courage in our community? Why the hesitation to interfere when faced with the other types of abuse you mentioned? Where is the concern for bruises that the eye can't see?

Something needs to be done.

Thanks for posting.

Anon 11:44 said...

Anon 9:32, you misunderstand me. I've been reading this blog for a long time. Sometimes past demons reemerge. I hope Chana is fine and is just responding to the recent NY suicide in the news and not that something bad is currently happening.

Anon 11:44 said...

Anon 9:32, you also truncated my post and missed my point. My point is that you can't take out a full page ad in the NY Times over every miscarriage of justice or whatever. People have to be made aware of problems in a respectful way and at a time when progress can be made. In my example there was just recently an opening to make people aware of a problem, which I hope will lead to a successful resolution.

Chana said...

So I am going to do some editing because some of these comments need to be fixed up because people can tell who the people are too easily. All reproduced except for dates.

~

Thus, we have Anon 11:44 said...
To Anon 9:32

I know that, but it doesn't help the victim to dwell on her past. When an opening of change opens we grasp it. But focusing on the past will eat us up.

For example, a teacher within a certain network of schools in a certain city was honored as "Educator of the Year." This teacher is not abusive, but he is a really bad teacher. Besides that, he turns the boys off of Yiddishkeit, and is delusional. He told one of his classes (8th grade) that he could be Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood, but he'd rather be here teaching them, so he is. Should someone like that be teaching our kids? Absolutely not! But what can we do? When people asked me if I would participate in this even I replied no, because this teacher is probably the worst teacher in the system, and certainly is not worthy of educator of the year.

November 23, 2009 3:02 PM

~

Anonymous said...
Anon 11:44 said:"I know that, but it doesn't help the victim to dwell on her past. When an opening of change opens we grasp it. But focusing on the past will eat us up.........For example, a teacher within a certain network of schools in a certain city was honored as "Educator of the Year." This teacher is not abusive, but he is a really bad teacher. Besides that, he turns the boys off of Yiddishkeit, and is delusional. He told one of his classes (8th grade) that he could be Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood, but he'd rather be here teaching them, so he is. Should someone like that be teaching our kids? Absolutely not! But what can we do?"

What do you mean by saying :"what can we do?". Someone like Chana had been doing quite a bit by exposing verbal,mental and psychological abuse through her articles in the observer and her fantastic posts on this blog. She fought the system openly and left it because it's based on lies and nothing but . Chana the victim? How very funny! I see her as a glorious victor with a tremendously positive impact on her readers and everyone she comes in contact with. You advocate the do nothing approach and that's not helpful at all.

Anon 9:32

November 23, 2009 4:00 PM