Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
29 November, 2016
The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 22 – the response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions – was released today.
The report follows a public hearing in February 2015 which inquired into the response of the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah College in Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against David Cyprys, David Kramer and Aaron Kestecher. The hearing also inquired into the response of the Yeshiva Centre and the Yeshiva College Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Daniel Hayman.
The case study examined:
* The influence of Jewish (or ‘halachic’) law on the responses of the institutions to child sexual abuse allegations
* The experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse and their families and the community’s response to them
* The response of the leadership of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to survivors of child sexual abuse
* The actions of perpetrators of child sexual abuse and how their connections to the institutions gave them an apparent power or authority
* The present approaches of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to child sexual abuse
Four survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated within the Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi communities gave evidence detailing their experiences of sexual abuse and the impact that had on their lives.
The Royal Commission heard evidence that a Jewish law, known as mesirah, forbids a Jew from informing upon, or handing over another Jew to a secular authority (particularly where criminal conduct is alleged). Under Jewish law gossiping, or speaking negatively of another Jew, Jewish institution or place, is discouraged, even if what is said is objectively true.
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