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How Safe Are Our Children?
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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1/31/13

How Safe Are Our Children?

Are abuse rates the same everywhere?

Worded differently, are children in some communities safer than kids in others? Are there things families can do to lower the possibility that their kids will chas v’shalom (G-d forbid) be abused?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no studies that can conclusively answer those questions one way or the other. But logic would dictate that just like there are risk factors for life expectancy (smoking, sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol) and automobile safety (history of drunk driving, poor driving record, lack of seat belt use), so too, are there communal and familial risk factors that elevate the likelihood that one's kids may be abused.

Actuaries who work for insurance companies regularly make these calculations and peg insurance rates to the number of risk factors their customers have. So if, for example, you get 3 speeding tickets in 18 months, you can be assured that your auto insurance rate will significantly increase.

“Child Safety Insurance”

Let’s face it; child abuse is a very sensitive issue and the fact that we are all biased one way or another about our own families and communities makes it very challenging to look at things objectively.

So why don’t we take the emotion out of this discussion and analyze this objectively through the eyes of an imaginary outsider so that we can make more rational decisions ourselves?

Perhaps it would be a good exercise for parents who wish to keep their kids safe from predators to imagine that they were applying to an insurance company for a “Child Safety Policy” which would pay for years of professional treatment in the event that one of their children was molested.

How would an insurance company determine what the risk factors are when assessing the rates of their policies?

One imagines that they would assemble leading child safety experts and ask them to draw up a comprehensive safety plan for families and communities culling from research-based, best practices worldwide. Then, the insurance companies would evaluate the safety risk by adding “red-flags” for familial or community practices that are significantly in conflict with the recommendations of the experts.

Your Thoughts, Please

We at Project YES have felt for many years now that candid discussions about child safety, painful as they may be, are a critical component of our efforts to prevent molestation and abuse.

We invite you to please join this dialogue by posting your thoughts in the comment thread below on what the risk factors might be for child abuse – for families (ex. lack of communication with one’s children) and/or for communities (lack of basic child safety education). Please maintain a positive tone as caustic comments will not be posted.

It is our hope that this give-and-take will help us chart courses for our families and communities that will help us keep our children and grandchildren safe and secure.

P.S. Please click here http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/letsstaysafe/preview.html to access the most recent addition to our Project YES Karasick Safety Initiative – our downloadable, read-aloud video of our best-selling Child Safety children’s book. The link above will also give you access to a 30-second demo sample of the video and a free Safety Video of a parenting workshop designed to teach parents the basics of an effective, research-based Child Safety Program.

P.P.S. Kindly consider helping us lower our expenses by making a tax-deductible donation of used items you may have (in decent condition, please) that our office is in need of: a laptop, a PC, and a commercial floor scrubber/polisher. In addition, if you have a used car, minivan or SUV in decent running condition, please consider donating it to Project YES. As I will be driving it on Project YES business (as opposed to selling it), you will get the full “Blue Book” value as a tax deduction which usually makes it a more attractive deal. Should you be in a position to donate any of the above items, kindly drop us an email at email@kosherjewishparenting.com. Thanks very much. Y.H.



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