Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn has addressed some serious problems with the recent Agudah Halacha Conference.
"I listened in dismay to R' Shlomo Gottesman's presentation of halachic issues of child abuse. He picked a very narrow perspective in answering the question of whether halacha allows going to the police to report abuse....
"Unfortunately he squandered an important opportunity. What he should have done was to ask a different question. Not under what conditions is calling the police mesira - but the real question is what does the Orthodox community need to do to protect the children? He failed to note that there are clearly times when a rabbi does not need to be consulted and that furthermore there are clearly times when a rabbi who says not to report should be ignored. He failed to address the more important issue of whether going to the police without community involvement and with pressure on parents not to file a complaint is really protecting the children. He failed to address the fear of reporting because of shidduchim and the danger that a child will be kicked out of school if he/she is found to have been abused. He failed to note that the Aguda has insisted that the financial well being of its institutions are more important than the welfare of the children. That cover ups to protect reputations of rabbis come before the sanity and safety of our children.
"But perhaps his biggest failure was to address the betrayal of the abuse victims by the rabbis and community and the severe psychological & religious damage this betrayal causes. It is commonly observed by those who work with off the derech children that most of these children have been abused."
Read the rest of the article on the "Da'at Torah" Blog.