Jewish communities discouraged survivors from reporting child abuse, commission finds

The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Tuesday 29 November 2016

A strict adherence to Jewish law led two ultra-Orthodox communities to treat child abuse survivors as outcasts and discouraged them from contacting secular authorities, the royal commission has found.

On Tuesday the commission released its report on Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne, two communities belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch orthodox movement of Judaism.

Chabad communities imposed on their members a strict adherence to orthodox practices and laws, encouraging modesty and gender segregation, while discouraging contact with non-Jews or any discussion of sex, the commission found.

Rabbis were found to have discouraged members from coming forward about abuse and a number resigned during last year’s commission hearing.

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