Over the weekend it was reported that a teacher in an orthodox Jewish school in Seattle has been charged with molesting two six year old girls in his class. It is suspected that this fellow molested more than just the two girls but he is only charged with molesting the two girls.
Sex abuse happens everywhere. It is no indictment of a school, community, or family if sex abuse occurs. The test is how sex abuse is dealt with. The most important question is whether the victim is able to articulate that they have been abused and that the victim has a safe place to talk about the abuse. If no one comes forward there is nothing to talk about.
It takes great courage to come forward. But more importantly, it takes education to come forward. Our best defense against abuse is quite simply our children. If they are equipped with the tools necessary to prevent molestation and report it when it happens we have our first two lines of defense in place.
The prosecutor in the case in Seattle attributes the girls’ willingness to come forward and their ability to articulate what happened to a book that is the brainchild of Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, written by Bracha Goetz and illustrated by Tova Leff. The book is called Let’s Stay Safe!. Incredibly, it took years for this book to see the light of day. But now it is endorsed by leading Torah authorities and it must be in every home and every school.
In a sensitive way, the book gives children the tools to prevent abuse. When the book was released, I bought several copies of the book for my home and anywhere else I thought it necessary.
Just consider for a moment how incredible it is that Let’s Stay Safe! helped end a cycle of abuse in Seattle. It could do the same in your community. Get the book.
In places where abuse is not reported and not even acknowledged there is too much space for predators to wreak havoc. It is a matter of sakanas nefashos, we must act now. Our children must be educated. There are no excuses. We must educate our most insular communities on the harms of abuse and help them help themselves get out from under the cycle of abuse.
Let’s Stay Safe! is so versatile that it is not only a book that prevents abuse. The book also keeps children safe generally. Rabbi Horowitz shared with me a letter that he received from a learning disabled child thanking him for the book as it helped him in several situations. The letter is so sweet and innocent, it brought tears to my eyes. It is time for us to take this challenge and grab it by the horns. The first step is buying and using this book.
Aside from the book, Rabbi Horowitz has an excellent video on keeping our children safe. Watch that here: YouTube
As an Amazon affiliate, I do receive a small commission of any sales generated by this post.
Here is the letter that will melt your heart: