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November 10, 2013

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Yochanan Lavie

Chareidim and their apologists are gloating over the new demographic study. They claim only Orthodoxy is healthy and likely to survive. If this is health, I prefer sickness.

Vivien Resofsky

Just to clarify a point. I believe that Yeshivah College has improved the way in which children are protected. However the change so far is not enough

RWisler

It seems that whenever a community leader such as a rabbi or rosh yeshiva becomes a demigogue or is unapproachable on an equal footing, these problems start to occur. The head representative of Chabad in that area needs to be pulled off his pedastal and made to humbly submit to the questions of his kehilla without the type of shunning that the Waks family endured. Of course, that will never happen....

shana

In Australia, Volunteers do not need to have the same mandatory checks as employees, which is a huge issue. Volunteers under the age of 16 don't require any checks.

What should happen is that all volunteers assume the same checks as employees. But you don't have to do it and so not very organisation will do it.

The requirements are also slowly starting to change which will give better protection to the children.

BeenThereDoneThat

The "working with children" card checking is quite useless, as it only picks up those who have already been convicted of offending.

Those who have not been caught yet can still get a card.

BeenThereDoneThat

As well, "Mrs Balfour" is actually supposed to be "Mrs Belfer".

Michelle Coleman

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for the many insights in your article. I did not understand from Rabbi Smukler's words that this meant that he could 100% guarantee that no child would ever be abused at Yeshivah. In fact, if he or any other individual at any educational institution made such a claim, I would be extremely skeptical, as I don't believe this is possible.

As you highlight in your article, child abuse is particularly insidious and no single approach can be guaranteed to work. The best we can do is to educate parents, staff and the community, as well as put in place comprehensive policies for monitoring and reporting e.g. ensuring no teacher is ever alone with a child, classrooms have windows visible to the outside etc...

In terms of screening volunteers, I know that this is a practice that already takes place within Jewish Care, and other Jewish organisations would be wise to follow suit. Unfortunately, most don't have the time, skills or resources to do so. While I was Executive Director of the JCCV we tried to set up a community Volunteer Resource Centre that would have Jewish Care conduct the screening (police checks, working with children checks etc. )and basic training of volunteers for all JCCV member organisations. Unfortunately, our member organisations felt unable to put any money towards getting this project off the ground.

Even with screening of volunteers, it would not necessarily mean that child abuse would not occur. I know that in David Cyprys' case, the offending occurred while he was still himself a school student at Yeshivah, at private homes when he had no official volunteer or employment role, and at martial arts lessons which were organised privately and independently of Yeshivah but were attended by Yeshivah students. Could better education of parents or the children have prevented abuse from occurring in these situations? I don't know.

As a parent myself, I feel that while we should follow all of Vivien Resofsky's guidelines, child abuse will still occur although hopefully less often. Once these guidelines are followed, the best we can do is to hope and pray that our children are safe. Scary? Definitely, but that's the reality.

dh

If these places cannot afford what it takes to keep children safe then they shouldn't be in the business of paying themselves to take care of children. And no one under 16 should ever be in charge of children.

Pretend you had to make changes because a nude woman were going to wander through the premises singing. Changes would effectively be made within several weeks, if not days. Changes necessary to keep children safe from child rape can occur just as quickly, if it was of comparable importance.

David

If it was a kashrus issue of even a minor nature (such as someone panicking that the strawberries at the next kiddush might have invisible insects on them), the frumma would make effective and immediate changes no matter what the cost.

For the frumma, issues of child safety assume a significantly less important status.

Anyone who has experience with the frumma knows numerous examples of children being left in the care of other children, very young children allowed to go out in the street alone and lack of teaching children basic safety (including safety against pedophiles) etc..

Editor

Michelle –

As you well know, David Cyprys sexually abused children as an adult.

He is guilty and will soon be sentenced.

He is also your husband – the man you continue to try cover up for.

You a sick, sick person.

Meh

Michelle what is more scary is that you are willing to put your own children at risk and marry a child rapist! You well know that sick animal of a husband of yours raped children as an adult as well!

Michelle Coleman

Shmarya,

I don't believe my post denied that he had abused anybody as an adult. You really should learn the fundamentals of grammar if you are going to pose as a journalist. Please note that there is a comma following "while he was still himself a school student at Yeshivah" and that the remainder of the sentence refers to other situations in which he was found guilty of offending. The point of the sentence was not the age of offending, it was the situations in which the offending occurred i.e. while a student at the school, in private homes and at martial arts lessons. These are all situations that would require policing in different ways to merely checking on volunteers (Vivien's post was saying that the offending could have been prevented if volunteers had been checked - just in case you didn't understand that either).

Don't attack me because you can't read and understand English properly.

You also keep loosely using the term "cover up". What exactly am I covering up? I was a school student in England at the time of the offending, David never made any confessions to me, none of his victims have ever approached me with any information and the matter has been handled by police and the courts. Neither police nor lawyers have asked me for any information because they know that I was not in this country and cannot shed any light. So what exactly have I covered up?

Meh, how would you know whether or not I am putting my children at risk? Do you know me, David Cyprys or my children? Have you seen any psychological reports on David that I am not aware of? Do you have any hard evidence that my children have ever even felt threatened? I find it amazing that you seem to know more than any of us in the know, including a number of professionals in this area who have spoken to my children and been satisfied that they have not been harmed in any way.

If you are going to throw out accusations, at least back them up with a fact or two.

Vivien Resofsky


Michelle thank you for your comments. A few points

I wrote the article because the I believe the assertions that Rabbi Shmukler continues to make, are overly optimistic. I tried to demonstrate examples of assertions not matching fact because many believe that the problem is 'solved' at Yeshivah. The measures I have referred to, for the last 8 years, are not mine. I didn't invent them, there are researchers and disciplines (such as public health) that developed them and they have been widely implemented in the US. We have learned a lot from people who have abused. Knowledge from offenders has been very helpful. You mention that David Cyprus offended as a teenager. Older and larger children and youth account for nearly 40% of offenders. It is an enormous group and the sooner a child/teenager's problem is acknowledged and treated the better the outcomes for the offenders as well as nos of victims. Teachers require training to identify problem behaviours as well as the courage to report concerns. I have to disagree with you about preventing abuse. As a child protection worker I heard many details of victims describing what happened to them. There was not one case that I was involved with that the abuse could not of been prevented or at least minimized. Teachers, parents of peers, relatives etc often had concerns about a child but didn't act. That is the real challenge, giving adults the knowledge and confidence to act. Finally Michelle you are right no-one knows the facts about your situation. But allow me to say something. The reasons why people abuse are complex. About 22% of offenders are Pedophiles i.e. prefer children and are not usually in heterogeneous relationships .This is considered a disorder and is included in the DSMIV Not all pedophiles abuse either. They don't act on their wish to abuse. The remainder of people who abuse are not sick They choose to abuse. If we call offenders sick then they are not responsible for their action. But Michelle, one thing I have observed through my work. The offenders I met were very good at influencing people to believe them and there perspective. Finally thank you for your actions in your role at JCCV. You were open and willing for JCCV to do something constructive to prevent child sexual abuse.

Editor

Michelle –

Anyone can Google your name on this site and see your previous comments and the comments many people – including Jewish Australians – made to you and about you.

So lets be clear: Are you admitting now that your husband sexually abused children as an adult, and that he is in fact actually guilty (in every sense of that term) of all the charges he was convicted of or pleaded guilty to?

RWisler

In Michelle's initial post in this thread, she did not identify her as David Cyprys's wife. She spoke of him in the third person as if she were a disinterested party. She also attempted to "cover up" that she was married to Cyprys by using a different surname.

As a reader who is not intimate with the situation, I would have never known that Michelle was married to Cyprys until Shmarya pointed this out.


dh

Michelle, as someone who is so interested in English grammar, may I point out that you leave much dangling in you post, not the least of which are modifiers.

SpeakOutAboutAbuse

Michelle,

I don't know you or your children. But I do/did know your Husband – I used his services as a locksmith a few years ago.
I bumped into your husband in the supermarket prior to his guilty verdict and could not help myself by telling him what I thought of his actions. I suggested that if he had any remorse whatsoever, he would plead guilty and not prolong the suffering of his many victims.

I find it very offensive for you to be giving any advice on this subject. Why would you marry such a man after knowing he committed the MOST heinous of acts on innocent children??? It beggars belief.

I actually find you offensive – I’m just totally sickened by your commentary and your so called insightfulness – So much so that if I see you in the street – I’ll also let you know my feelings.

Sickened by Michelle Colemen

PS – what the hell does grammar have to do with anything! It’s a blog you idiot!

Meh

If it wasn't so disturbing that you defend a child rapist I would actually feel sorry for you Michelle. You must be pretty desperate to expose yourself and your kids to that kind of scum.Do some research into The recidivism rate of child sex offenders.

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