Cops Or No Cops? Rabbi David Zwiebel On Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
Here's the skinny on what Rabbi Zwiebel says is the halakhic position on reporting child sexual abuse to police or CPS:
1. We need either to have witnessed the abuse take place or have raglayim l'davar, a responsable or credible suspicion, that the abuse took place before we can call police or CPS.
2. If you did not witness the abuse taking place but only have a suspicion, however strong, that it happened, you must consult with a rabbi muvhak, a senior rabbi with expertise in this issue.
3. Rabbi Zwiebel had no list of such rabbi muvhaks and was unwilling to give any names he would recommend.
4. Rabbi Zwiebel stressed that if we witness abuse taking place, or if we have suspicions that abuse took place and a rabbi muvhak has ruled that police should be called, we must call police – even if we are not legally mandated reporters in the locality we are in.
5. But Rabbi Zwiebel also said there is no difference between the position of Rabbi Shmuel Kamentzky and Augdath Israel's position – and Rabbi Kamentzky said you must go to a rabbi to get permission to report child sexual abuse.
There's a 20 second or so gap in the first audio from the stream breaking. But Rabbi Zwiebel repeats his point later several times.
From Zev Brenner's Talkline radio show last night. Please click the gray bars to listen:
Here's a link to the entire show if you want to download it or listen there.