i just finished reading the book hush by a woman whose pseudonym is eishes chayil..i am in awe.
sexual abuse in the clergy is not a new thing especially among the catholics. these issues have only been out in the open in the recent past. sexual abuse of children is not limited to any particular religious group and isnt only something priests do to catholic school children. its an equal opportunity psychological disorder.
recently chassidishe as well as yeshivish pediphiles have polluted the airwaves with scandal. what had once been taboo to discuss has been blown out of the water. exposing such monsters does not mean that everyone who is chassidishe or yeshivish is a pedophile just like all catholic priests are not pedophiles either. the point of blowing the cover of such scoundrels is to protect the innocent who have been scarred by such monsters and to not let them ever commit such vile acts again.
a woman who calls herself eishes chayil witnessed her childhood friend being molested. she also knew of a boy who had hung himself because he had been molested. the community she grew up in was hush-hush about these events. they didn't want anyone to know lest it ruin their chances for shidduchim. eishes chayil wanted to wake people up. sexual abuse of children occurs in every community and must be addressed so there will never be another child suffering from sexual abuse. eishes chayil succeeds in conveying her message by portraying a multifaceted, loving and g-d fearing community of chassidim who are a bit too concerned with being spurned by the community for condemning child molestation and not concerned enough about preventing it in the first place. it might ruin their shidduch chances. it might cause them to be threatened physically. this type of ignorance must not continue. because this is a novel and not just a newspaper article eishes chayil was able to show us the beauty and innocence of a chassidishe lifestyle. chassidim may be much too concerned with what the jones' will say but they are also basically caring people.they just need to work on this issue. we don't need any more young men jumping from their hotel windows on their wedding night because they were molested as a children.
there is a reason why the world is more open about psychological disorders. it is so those who chas v'shalom have to endure such atrocities will be able to be helped and so abusers will stop.
when a frum community ignores the cries of those who are molested because it may be lashon hara or because it could ruin the good name of the molester's family that community is condoning molestation. silence is acquiescence. the torah does not say one should stand idly by while children are abused. that is not torah and it is not frumkeit. it seems the chassidim are more concerned with the good of many rather than the well being of an individual. im not sure why. i know that ive learned in the modern orthodox school that i went to as a child that if you save one person it is as if you have saved an entire world. if one person is murdered it is as if a whole world has been destroyed. is this not a chassidishe or yeshivish concept? i thought that this was what the torah espouses. period.
everyone loses when molestation occurs . the victim as well as all of their friends and family.
thank you eishes chayil for writing this tenderly written book about such a grievous issue. if it will help but one child be safe it will have been successful. may this book protect us all.