Not all of us are aware that when we warn our children not to talk to strangers and not to get into cars of people you don’t know… the statistics show that the person most likely to abuse a child is someone close to them, like a parent, teacher or older relative.
These are the predators we need to protect our children from… as well as the “boogie man down the alleyway”. Remember that women sexually abuse too. Leaving a child with a female doesn’t necessarily mean they’re automatically safe from sexual abuse.
“Any child is at risk of being sexual abused. It’s important to remember that both boys and girls can be sexually abused.
Most children who’ve been sexual abused were abused by someone they know. This could be a family member, a friend or someone who has targeted them – like a teacher or sports coach.”
“If a child reveals abuse If a child talks to you about sexual abuse it’s important to:
listen carefully to what they’re saying let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you tell them it’s not their fault say you’ll take them seriously don’t confront the alleged abuser explain what you’ll do next report what the child has told you as soon as possible.”
A letter to parents from a parent. Please take the time to read this and feel free to share. We need to start a conversation about child abuse and the repercussions of what this can do to the victim later on in life.
Tonight I heard something that literally broke my heart. I can’t go into too many details but I’ll give you a basic run through of what I was told.
A young girl of around 17 was being physically abused by her parents. As a strictly religious household (I can’t say which religion), they felt she was doing things that to them was bad.
We are not talking about anything really bad. It was things like getting home 5 mins later than planned. Getting a grade less than expected in school. Not helping enough around the house etc etc.
She was expected to do a huge chunk of the chores and she did what she could. However, For these parents, nothing was ever good enough.
They physically punished her all her life but as she grew up she began resenting them and became more and more distant.
During that time she met a young man around the same age and they began dating. He had no mother figure in his life as she’s a drug addict. It was just him and his father at home. The father wasn’t bothered by his son having a girlfriend so young.
The girl was in a very low place and was so touched that someone was showing her attention. They spent more and more time together until they became an official couple.
As a religious girl, any form of intimacy before marriage is a huge sin. She knew she could never tell her parents about him.
THIS IS THE PART I WANT PARENTS TO READ. PLEASE.
Because of the physical abuse she suffered at home, and knowing that her parents believed they were doing the right thing in disciplining her like that, she felt very much alone. And she grew more and more attached and close to this young man.
Had she been able to speak to her mother or father they would have been able to tell her what to look out for, what is normal, what are red flags, and generally have someone to turn to if things go wrong.
I totally understand the religious aspect but there’s reality too. We cannot, as parents, turn a blind eye to what our children are doing simply because we don’t agree with it. We need to go at their pace or else we end up with children who resort to lying to us and us not being aware of what they’re experiencing.
One day after she was hit by her parents she decided she had had enough. She secretly packed a bag and ran away to her boyfriend’s house. No one knew where she was because she was unable to tell people about him, for fear of reprisals and being judged.
The man and his father were thrilled. They had a young woman there “to do women’s work”. She was trapped. She had to do all the laundry, cooking for all of them, was expected to clean the house, and if she complained she was told “be grateful we opened our home to you”.
One day there was an argument and put the blue the man hit the girl hard. He obviously apologised and said it would never happen again. She believed him. And of course that was just the beginning of 9 months of abuse. He beat her all the time.
She was covered in bruises. And she was mentally falling apart. Her parents tried to track her down and begged her to come home. They promised they would stop abusing her and things would change.
Then she had a breakdown and ended up having to be in a hospital to deal with her mental health.
When she left, she went home. Her parents stuck to their promises and never hit her again. But the damage was done. She was so used to being physically abused that she was spiralling in a cycle of abuse.
Of course there was no way she could tell them about the man so she lied all the time telling them that she was “staying with friends”.
When they were out around people they were the “perfect couple” and everyone thought they were happy. She was good at pretending. After all, hadn’t she been taught how to lie and pretend she was okay when her own parents abused her?
She had NO ONE to talk to. She had no relationship with her parents close enough to be able to tell them what was going on.
At one point there was a party and they went. She drank a lot and passed out. The next day she knew something had happened but couldn’t remember it all. Only small flashes of memory came to her. She still doesn’t know what happened that night. She probably never will.
She did remember that the man’s father arrived at one point and called his son aside and in front of several young women asked him “who do you want to f*ck tonight”? His own girlfriend was right there. Imagine the pain and humiliation she experienced.
If only she had a parent close enough to open up to… after almost a year she’s now finally realised that this was not okay and is classed as intimate partner violence, aka domestic abuse.
She’s tried to cut off contact but all the threats he makes and the fact they have to be in the same place during the week (I can’t elaborate) means that she will keep seeing him.
How different would things have been if she hadn’t been abused? How many people who have been abused get involved with people who end up abusing them as well? If they don’t get the right help and therapy it can continue throughout their lives.
We, as parents, can change things. We can be better people. We can be less judgmental and more understanding. We don’t have to throw away all our beliefs. We just have to meet them where they’re at.
The alternative is this story. A young girl unable to tell anyone her body was covered in bruises and she was scared of her boyfriend. And his father.
Luckily she has found someone to talk to. She’s also got professional help from a therapist. And hopefully with time she will heal from the trauma of her childhood and of this abusive relationship.
She says “if I had a mother I was able to talk to the way I can talk to …. I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in. I would have been able to discuss with her the things that worried me at the beginning so that I didn’t have to waste almost a year of my life alone with my thoughts, trauma and pain fighting my attachment issues. She would have told me this wasn’t acceptable. It wasn’t normal”.
She cried looking at the photos of her body with the scars of the abuse she suffered…. No one should have to live like this. We all deserve to have our needs met. We all deserve to be cared for and to be able to share our concerns. We all deserve to have felt love from our parents and to love others. We deserve peace. We deserve therapy. We deserve… to be our authentic self without fear of repercussions.
I’ve just finished listening to a podcast for the second part of The Single Life, Tell All which airs on Discovery +
I was very moved by what the guys said at the end about Liz and how to support someone you know who may be in the kind of abusive relationship it seems she’s in with Ed.
They made a comment about not blaming or questioning why someone has stayed so long or keeps going back etc. It really touched me and I wanted to share why.
As a survivor of domestic abuse, aka Intimate Partner Violence, with the father of my kids whom I was married to for 17 years, I have these kind of questions asked of me all the time. I never told anyone what had been going on all those years so when it came out and he was arrested I felt like I was made to defend myself.
“Why did you stay so long” “Why didn’t you tell anyone” “Why didn’t you leave the first time you felt abused” “I understand a year or two. But 17??” “Why, why, why, why…..”
What people who haven’t experienced this personally or seen it close up don’t realise is the grooming, control, manipulation, ostracising you from everyone who cares about you, coercion etc etc that happens gradually over time. And if you are young, I was just 19 and he was older at 27, you don’t necessarily know what red flags are or what the warning signs are.
And once you are aware about what is happening you may have kids, you may have been told “I love you so much, you don’t need to learn to drive. I’ll take you anywhere you need” thereby ensuring you’re trapped if you want to leave quickly or get help.
The abuser may have disabled your phone or locked doors to trap you inside. They may have told you countless times how “you’re lucky I’m with you. No other man would want to be with a fat, ugly disgusting person” etc. You’re made to feel grateful that they’re with you because after all no one else would want to be. Or at least that’s what you’re made to believe.
I always feel hurt and defensive when I’m asked why I didn’t get out earlier and other things like that. I realise that I cannot explain why in a matter of a text or a short conversation. If someone asks then they just don’t get it. And I don’t need to educate everyone. There’s enough information online to educate yourself rather than put the onus onto the victim or survivor.
To me it feels like I’m being asked how stupid can you be that you allowed it to go on for so long…. how much of an idiot can you be not to have left after the first couple of times you were abused… and I know I’m not stupid. I was simply groomed and isolated, had my money taken etc.
Even money I got from doing private lessons would have to be hidden in a drawer away from him. But sadly when I was in hospital for years on and off for months at a time, he found the money I saved to leave him and stole it. He proudly told me about it as I was hooked up to machines in hospital unable to move. That’s how vile these people can be.
So please, please don’t blame the victim and make them justify why they stayed with their abuser for a certain amount of time or why they keep going back. The mental abuse and the feeling of needing to be with them because you’ve been brainwashed to believe you can’t live without them is so difficult to comprehend.
Just be a support. Tell them you’re there when they are ready to leave. Ask what it is that might be keeping them, such as financial issues, and see if you’re able to help. Make sure they know they are not alone and you’re not judging them and they’re done nothing wrong other than to fall for the wrong person. Give them contact information for charities or shelters that can help them when they’re ready.
I hope this helps someone understand more about people they care about. Of course this post is my own experience only but it’s an insight into how it might be for someone you care and worry about.
I present to you the Bais Din that harbors Meir Kin and other Get refusers. Do we trust rabbanim that blackmail and sexually coerce women instead of trying to help them get a Get?
🛑 Meir Kin, I know you are reading this. You can no longer hide behind your false frumkeit and false Bais Din. Admit that your one goal is to control and take vengeance on Lonna who just wants her freedom. It’s been 17 years. You’re already remarried.
I am warning you Meir. We have a lot more dirt on you and Rabbi Gestetner’s Bais Din. Do what’s right and just free Lonna already. You can go back to a private life!
🛑 Rabbi Gestetner’s Bais Din, we will not stand for this perversion of Torah.
This Sunday, April 25th at 8:30pm, let’s join together and rally outside this “Bais Din” located at 7 Mosier Court, Spring Valley, NY. No longer will we be silent as our Bnos Yisroel are tortured and abused. We need to draw a line in the sand right here and right now.