Last updated on 09/01/08
What should I do if I think my child has been molested?
It is easy to pretend that the world is all smiles and laughter but reality has proved life to be an existence of challenge and triumph. As a parent, it is important to be aware of today’s dangers in order to prevent and protect children from harm. Children see the world through the eyes of wonder and innocence. Since they are such easy prey for predators, parents are faced with the daunting task of protecting their child without introducing too much information inappropriately. In the case that a child might have been harmed, it is important to address the issue immediately to ensure that no further damage will result.
In the Jewish Community:
It is painful to think about the multitudes of children who have gone through the trauma of sexual abuse. It is even more painful when those in anguish are your brothers and sisters. No society is perfect and neither are the Jewish people. Using a simple online search for sexual predators in a predominantly Jewish area, one can see pictures of Frum Jews next to other perpetrators of all colors. Although sexual abuse in the Jewish community may seem rare, it exists more than people think it does. Obviously, those dealing with the painful and delicate issue of sexual abuse do not broadcast their troubles for Tznius and personal reasons, hence the thoughts of lack of a problem.
Use the following links to educate yourself about sexual abuse and child molestation. Find out how to take proper precautions to prevent your children from being harmed and learn how to recognize the problem before it escalates.
Frequently Asked Links:
What defines sexual abuse?
What is the definition of a child molester?
How can one detect that a child has been molested? more
How can I protect my child from sexual predators?
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
How can I warn my child about predators without scaring them? more more
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
What common traits do many sexual offenders have? more
What are some of the typical psychological effects of child molestation?
How can I find out if registered sex offenders live in my neighborhood?
Does sexual abuse occur in the Jewish Community? more
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
How prevalent is sexual abuse in the Jewish Community?
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Is there a correlation between molestation and those who abandon Judaism?
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
How can I get help for my child? more
What steps can I take to stop sexual abuse in the Jewish community?
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz (audio file)
Abuse can take many forms. This article talks about recognizing abuse, its effects, and what someone who is being abused can do.
Going to a Therapist
Getting help with emotions or stress is the same as getting help with a medical problem like asthma or diabetes. This article explains how therapy works and how it can help with problems.
Resources for the Jewish community
Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Hotlines and Help lines
The Childhelp USA hotline is staffed by counselors who can answer questions about child abuse, can tell you where to report suspected or known abuse in your community, or can provide referrals to agencies in your local community. Childhelp USA provides referrals utilizing a database of thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources located in the United States and Canada.
Rape & Incest National Network (RAINN)
RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. On their website, you will find statistics, counseling esources, prevention tips, news, and more.
Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute
Early Diagnosis and Effective Treatment
The Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute is a national, science-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse through research and education. Because people who develop a sexual interest in children usually develop it during their teenage years and even younger, our focus is on providing information to professionals and to families about the early warning signs of a problem, as well as the availability of early diagnosis and effective treatment from a sex-specific specialist. We want to stop molestation at the very earliest point possible -- before it even happens. Website provides "primary prevention plan," listing of "sex-specific therapy sites" in North America, and "Six Questions to Ask a Sex-Specific Therapist" before making an appointment, among other valuable resources.
Yello Dyno teaches children how to protect themselves from people who mean them harm.
Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light is a national nonprofit organization and initiative located in Charleston, SC. The initiative includes four major components: award-winning public awareness campaign to make adults more aware of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse; easily-accessed helpline (part of the new "211" initiative) to provide referrals and crisis support for victims and survivors; highly-acclaimed educational materials and programs that teach adults to protect children; and collaboration of organizations that provide comprehensive quality community-level services to victims, survivors and their families.
Prevention and Motivation Programs, Inc.
GOOD-TOUCH/BAD-TOUCH® is a comprehensive child abuse prevention curriculum designed for pre-school and Kindergarten through sixth grade students, which works as a tool to teach children the skills they need to play a significant role in prevention or interruption of child abuse/sexual abuse in their own lives. Children are taught what abuse is; are given prevention skills including personal body safety rules ("tools" they can put into their tool bags to draw on if needed); and are motivated into action if threatened. A variety of materials are used to reinforce the concepts and to help keep children focused. The organization also sells a "Parent's Pack" and other materials to help parents educate themselves and their children about the prevention of sexual abuse.
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA)
ATSA is a non-profit, interdisciplinary, organization founded to foster research, facilitate information exchange, further professional education, and provide for the advancement of professional standards and practices in the field of sexual abuser evaluation and treatment. This is the professional organization for sex-specific therapists.
The Hindman Foundation's mission is to honor childhood, making the world a safer place by providing treatment, training resources, and consultation to those who rob childhood, those who have lost childhood, and to those who wish to join us in protecting the precious nature of childhood.
The Safer Society Foundation
The Safer Society Foundation is a national nonprofit agency focused on the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse. The organization provides a variety of services including training and consultation, treatment referrals for sexual abusers, and publishes many useful books and videos on the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse.
Professionals and Community Leaders
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
APSAC is a nonprofit national organization focused on meeting the needs of professionals engaged in all aspects of services for maltreated children and their families. Especially important to APSAC is the dissemination of state-of-the-art practice in all professional disciplines related to child abuse and neglect. Professionals from law enforcement, medicine, social services, mental health and education and allied professions belong to APSAC. Academics from a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, psychology, law, social work, and social and behavioral sciences also belong to APSAC.
Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM)
The Center for Sex Offender Management's primary goal is to enhance public safety by preventing further victimization through improving the management of sex offenders in the community. CSOM's goals are carried out through three primary activity areas: an information exchange, training and technical assistance, and support to select resources sites and OJP grantees.
Mothers Against Sexual Abuse (MASA)
MASA offers educational programs to teachers, child caregivers, and professionals for the prevention and detection of child sexual abuse. In addition, the organization provides a resource referral network of professionals who aid in the recovery of children and adults who are survivors of sexual abuse. MASA also offers educational materials to non-offending parents and families of children who have been sexually abused.
Support Resources for Survivors, Friends, and Family
Abuse Survivors Learning to Thrive
isurvive.org is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization for survivors of child sexual abuse and their families and friends. Site includes discussion boards, chat rooms, and many helpful resources related to child sexual abuse.
Justice for Children
Justice For Children's mission is to raise the consciousness of our society about the failure of our governmental agencies to protect victims of child abuse, to provide legal advocacy for abused children and to develop and implement collaborative solutions to enhance the quality of life for these children.
Overcoming Sexual Victimization of Boys and Men
Male Survivor (formerly the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization) is a membership organization and online resource for male sexual abuse survivors and the therapists who treat this population. The website includes numerous articles, information about retreats and conferences, discussion boards, chat rooms, and a national directory of professionals wishing to offer services to male sexual abuse survivors, among other resources.
Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.