Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meir Dascalowitz Friday Hearing (May 6) UPDATED AFTER HEARING - 5:20 P.M.

UPDATE 5:20 P.M.:
          Today's "Molester of the Day" hearing was covered by a number of websites, perhaps most notably Failed Messiah. According to people who attended, Meir Dascalowitz's hearing was the first one on the calendar (presumably due to the large number of attendees for that particular hearing - there were numerous supporters there) and it was over in two minutes.
          Court-appointed psychiatrists want to declare the defendant "unfit to stand trial." For an explanation, see CALANY's blog (Coalition Against Legal Abuse). Here is an excerpt from their article:

By law, as soon as a report is submitted claiming the defendant unfit to proceed, they must immediately be remanded into a state mental facility, pretty much like a jail. Then, with lots of medication and psychiatric intervention, the person then gets declared later ‘fit to proceed’ and the case continues back in criminal court. In the event that the person does not get cleared, then they remain in that facility until the sentencing. It is highly unusual for a criminal to remain in such a facility for very long, and the longest we heard of was 8 years for one particular case.

Sounds like our friend will be away from our children for a while. Read what Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg has to say about today's hearing, and the upcoming ones next week.

It is important to show your support for the victims of Meir Dascalowitz at his hearing tomorrow. The court case has been dragging on and on, and the victims and their families have been threatened and harassed regularly, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg reports.
          Hillel said, "What is hateful unto you, to your fellow you should not do." Yes, it rhymes, but even more importantly, it applies to everyone in this community. If we are silent, the victims and their families feel unsafe in our community. Those of us who haven't been personally affected by child sexual abuse might find it hard to understand, so I'll just repeat what the experts say: when a child is molested, his entire world is turned upside down. Nothing makes sense, because a person who was supposed to protect him (an adult in his community, usually somebody he knows) has hurt him tremendously. In order for this victim to heal, he needs the world to be turned straight again. You can't expect him to just say to himself, "You know, that was wrong. He's a bad person, because he molested me, and I did not deserve it." He needs proof of this. He needs to see that the molester is being punished for hurting him. He needs to see that society agrees that this was an evil act.

          Our community tends to protect the molesters. Perhaps most of us are uninvolved in any case of molestation, but those who are involved speak for all of us, whether we like it or not. And those people are saying, "Don't go to the police." "It's an aveirah to report a fellow Jew." "We will make sure the molester gets treated." Sorry, but treatment doesn't stop the person from molesting unless he is kept away from children. In our community, molesters are able to be rehired in different schools, and often even keep their jobs in the same school where they have molested numerous students. Molesters need to be kept away from children, and unfortunately, there is no place other than prison which can do that. Even on the street, and in shuls, they can molest children by gaining their trust and taking them to secluded places, such as the restroom or the Ezras Nashim.

          The way we act towards molesters is very damaging to the victims. The victims finally gather the courage to expose the evil act, about which they are so ashamed, and what do we do? We harass them. We tell them that they are evil for telling the cops. Only some of us actually say these things to the victims (probably because they are paid off by the molester's family) but when we all quietly move on, hoping we don't get seen or heard, the victims see that they have no safety in our community.

Call me obsessed, but I feel obligated to do something to help the victims.

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