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Protecting Children – a Communal Imperative

December 6, 2012 – 4:29 pm33 Comments

By Nina Bassat
Protecting children and young people from the risk of abuse is a communal imperative.  Yet the Jewish community is not immune to the occurrence of child abuse in organisational settings.

To seek to address this issue, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), has established a Jewish Community Child Protection Reference Group to provide information and resources for community organisations and victims/survivors and their families.  The Reference Group, comprised of advocates in protecting children from abuse, will act as an additional resource for community organisations to assist them in reviewing and strengthening their policies and procedures.

Throughout 2013 the Reference Group  will conduct community forums hosted by the JCCV to raise awareness of child protection issues.  Our call to all community organisations is to examine existing policies against established benchmarks to determine whether improvement can be achieved.  Public discussion of this very confronting and disturbing issue can be difficult for a host of reasons.  We commend both the Federal and State Government for taking steps in recent times to hold public inquiries into the issue of child abuse in organisational settings.

What are the implications for our community?  We are blessed with a wide range of schools, shules, youth groups, sporting clubs and other community organisations catering to the needs of children and young people.  It goes without saying that these organisations are dedicated to the best interests of children and young people and to enriching our community.  However (and this is the confronting and disturbing element of the discussion) there is a very small minority of people who work as staff or volunteers within organisations – in the Jewish and wider communities – who have an unhealthy interest in obtaining access to children and young people.  For the vast majority who do not share these deviant tendencies, it is hard to fathom the risk and easy to dismiss such talk as fanciful and alarmist.

The Child Protection Reference Group has access to best practice material and will initially meet with leaders of community organisations to share information about policies, procedures and risk management.  The wider community will also be invited to attend subsequent forums.  The group’s role is limited.  We will:

  • act as an additional resource to assist community organisations to strengthen their child protection policies and procedures;
  • promote resources to educate and empower parents regarding child protection; and
  • assist with referrals to professional support services, where required.

Those are the current limits of our brief.   It is not our role to:

  • Provide direct services to victims/survivors or their families.
  • Canvass specific allegations of child abuse made against any specific individual or organisation.  (This is a matter for State authorities including Victoria Police and the Department of Human Services.)
  • Intervene in the affairs of any community organisation.

The broad issue of ‘risk management’ is a fundamental responsibility for organisations charged with the care of children and young people.  Children are inherently vulnerable.  Parents expect – and the law requires – that  children will be safe from harm or abuse at school, on camp, at a youth group, in a sporting club or in any other community setting.  In many instances, community organisations already have well established and effective policies and procedures for ensuring that abuse in any of its forms is, to the greatest possible extent, prevented.

However, across the multitude of community organisations, approaches to risk management and the specific challenge of child protection will inevitably vary.   In the absence of good risk management, organisations can unwittingly make themselves vulnerable to inappropriate staff and volunteers.  In some of the documented cases in Australia and internationally, offenders have spent months and years befriending and grooming young people and their families only to betray that trust in order to abuse and exploit them.

Our role as a community is two-fold.  First, we must accept – no matter how painful it may be – that these breaches of trust can and do occur in our community.  Secondly, we should do nothing less than work towards prevention and deal with past wrongs by assisting victims/survivors wherever possible.  We call on all members of the community to become better informed on issues of child protection and to engage in next year’s public forums with the aim of strengthening our wonderful community organisations and safeguarding our children and young people against the unthinkable.

Nina Bassat AM is President of the JCCV. This has been submitted on behalf of the JCCV and Jewish Community Child Protection Reference Group – Andrew Blode (Chair), Vicki Gordon, Anton Hermann, Katherine Levi, Jo Silver and Rimma Sverdli.

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33 Comments »

  • Elijah says:

    It is alleged, that Rabbi A. Glick, is currently under investigation by Victoria Police, possibly for offences specified in s49A of the Crimes Act 1958.

    Rabbi A. Glick is currently Head of Jewish Studies at Yeshivah Beth Rivkah and formerly in charge of student welfare.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Hey mister, Elijah, whoever you are !!!
    Tell us what a49A of the Crimes Act 1958 is all about !
    You make it sound like Rabbi Abraham Glick is being investigated by Victoria Police for some child sex abuse.
    FACT is that Rabbi A. Glick is only making some changes to his previous written statement to Police regarding the extent of his recollections of offences reported to him in 2008 in relation to the Cypris case.
    Your suggestive vile gossip is, indeed, offensive, dishonest.

  • Elijah says:

    Otto,
    You are a shnook and a shtoonk all rolled into one.

    The Herald Sun alleges in a newspaper article from the 9/12/2012 that Victoria Police is investigating Rabbi A. Glick.

    I’m glad to see that you have been retained as counsel for Rabbi A. Glick, it is the only way in which you could know “FACT is that Rabbi A. Glick is only making some changes to his previous written statement to Police regarding the extent of his recollections of offences reported to him in 2008 in relation to the Cypris case.”

    I was very careful to be very specific in stating s49A of the Crimes Act 1958 in Victoria. Otto, if you are capable, look at the Act online or go to a library for assistance.

    The offence specified in s49A is specified as level 3, and thus is considered to have greater culpability than actually physically committing some types of sexual acts with persons less than 18 years of age which are punishable in Victoria.

    Once again, your Shtreimel cooked brain, has betrayed your previous self professed mastery of spelling and grammar with the English language. “Cypris” is actually spelled Cyprys.

    If Rabbi A. Glick is convicted in a trial for what is alleged by the Herald Sun newspaper and various other media, the children in our schools, shules and other organisations will be safer.

    It is absolutely abhorrent that dreck like you Otto and all the others out there, would want to conceal Paedophiles and the vile actions or omissions of their facilitators, protectors and apologists.

  • Gonzales says:

    @Elijah AKA Rockspider

    Of course the papers will print a catchy headline.

    But they have covered their collective backsides. Note… your post begins with “it is alleged”.

    My point – whatever will come out of all of this, so be it. Wheel of justice turn slowly.

    But the jackals and hounds, they move like lightning, don’t they?

    And the vultures like you Elijah, are circling.

    By the way, for the record, Glick is not, nor was was the head of Jewish Studies at Beth Rivkah.

    But keep it up, looks like you’re angling for a job at The Age.

    They too have difficulty in getting their facts right!

    You’ll be a “shoe-in”.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Here’s Section 49A of the Crimes Act (Vic).

    I think this section is actually aimed at, e.g., a travel agent who markets tickets to pedophiles who want to assault children overseas. It does cover other people, but they must have acted (or deliberately failed to act) out of a desire for (what is presumably financial) personal gain, or gain for another person; their action (or deliberate lack of action) must have aided, facilitated, or contributed to a sexual offense against a child; and they must have either intended that the sexual offense would occur, or at least been reckless as to whether or not it would occur.

    I find it very hard to imagine any scenario which would make R’ Glick liable under this section. Nobody has alleged that he was, e.g., bribed to allow a paedophile on the premises of Yeshiva, or bribed to refrain from reporting one. Nobody has alleged that he was reckless (which in law really means something like “even though it obviously might happen he didn’t care”) with respect to any assault. I certainly hope nobody has alleged that he intended any molestation.

    Subject to the decision of the court, it is very possible that someone will be found guilty of committing sexual assaults on the grounds of Yeshiva College while R’ Glick was the principal there. If so, it is a very serious matter which would undoubtedly weigh upon his conscience. None the less, applying this law to these alleged circumstances would be such a far-fetched interpretation that I can’t imagine any prosecutor putting the case forward, or any judge failing to dismiss it.

  • Jake says:

    I wonder if Nina Bassat is having second thoughts about her article appearing on this website, given the nature of the “comments “

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    I follow the strict rule of not associating with characters of lesser moral station, insufficiently endowed , those who cultivate vulgarity in lieu of reason, simply put, well bellow my station.
    Whoever signes “Elijah” reveals serious problems in masking all those conditions listed above.

    “Joe in Australia” has clarified the legal aspects of the oligophrenic posting by Elijah in retort to my initial comments ( see Greek “oligo” and “phrenos” ).

    The vile incursions against Orthodox Jews taken by this seeminlgy seriously disturbed type – the same Elijah – would not be worth replying to if not for the need to maintain a consistent line of decency when names of respected members of our community are brandished strictly for the purpose of libel.

    Nina Bassat has shown a curious anxiety to demonstrate high levels of activity on behalf of the Jewish community.
    Considering the historically extremely low occurance of paedophilia in the Jewish educational institutions and all related fields, the level of debate on the subjects should be carried out in strict raport with the intensity of the phenomenon in the same community.
    Considering, at the same time, the eagerness of some to expand on the notion from the formal acknowledgement, such as Nina Bassat’s heralding of the initiatives, also considering the type of irresponsible, seriously defficient comments of characters such as the present Elijah – a lamentable, inferior specimen -, this tendentious, offensive splinter can only aid known sectors of detractors of all matters Jewish, dregs such as Elijah included.

  • Elijah says:

    Gonzales,
    Time for new spectacles!
    You will note that I stated that “Rabbi A. Glick is currently Head of Jewish Studies at Yeshivah Beth Rivkah”. I would suggest you look at the Yeshivah Beth Rivkah website at the ‘Heads of Staff’ webpage where you will find the description “Rabbi Avrohom Glick – Head of Jewish Studies”
    http://www.ybr.vic.edu.au/headofstaff.html

    So ‘Gonzales’ AKA Rockspider protector, Paedophile apologist & facilitator, it helps to get your facts straight. Now slither back under your rock.

    Joe in Australia,
    s49A of the Crimes Act 1958 was inserted into the Act in 1994 and has subsequently been amended since its proclamation. This section is much more encompassing than you realise.

    In a submission by the Law Institute of Victoria to the Parliamentary inquiry currently underway into abuse of children, they state:

    “Several crimes in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) specifically concern sexual offences against children. Other crimes against the person might also be relevant. Some of these crimes relate to the person who physically engages in the abuse while others apply to any person who, with certain knowledge of the abuse, acts or fails to act in a manner that facilitates the abuse or perverts the course of justice. For example, it is an offence under section 49A of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) to do or omit to do an act that aids, facilitates or contributes to in any way whatever the commission by another person of a sexual offence against a child.”

    No doubt, when Magistrate Luisa Bazzani described Rabbi A. Glick’s evidence to her as “unfathomable”(Judicial officer code for faerie stories), it allegedly sparked an interest by the Moorabbin Sexual Offences detectives towards Rabbi A. Glick.

    The alleged investigation of Rabbi A. Glick will try to find evidence of several key elements – acts or omits; aids, facilitates, contributes; gain; person (legal person? i.e. Yeshivah Beth Rivkah); reckless & commission.

  • Gonzales says:

    @Elijah AKA Rockspider

    The newspapers don’t relate Glick in any way to the Beth Rivkah, but of course you had to go the extra mile. Just couldn’t help yourself and that makes you an opportunist.

    Why is it that when someone shows up a flaw in your post, you respond…..protector, Paedophile apologist & facilitator?

    You suffer from the Gillard Syndrome?

    She labels …Misogynist and you crow …protector, Paedophile apologist & facilitator.

    Is that an answer to a valid observation?

    Why drag the Beth Rivkah into your post when even the papers don’t?

    I posted ……“My point – whatever will come out of all of this, so be it. Wheel of justice turn slowly”.

    Does one have to be as toxic and venomous as you in order to prove they are not a “protector, Paedophile apologist & facilitator” ?

    There are many people out there who have not said or posted a word about this tragedy which has befallen Melbourne Jewry. Are they too
    protectors, Paedophile apologists & facilitators due to their silence?

    So, Creature of the Night, why do you remain anonymous if you are so cocksure of yourself? Impress the readers that you are not a Paedophile apologist & facilitator by using your real name.

    Imposter!

  • Elijah says:

    Gonzales,
    I must have hit the centre target!!!

    Either you are a sock-puppet or perhaps you’re waiting in fear for the knock at the BACK door from the boys and girls with freddy’s.

    Sweet dreams.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    And where on Earth or Hell to be pecise, is our own Daniel Levy and why is he allowing “Elijah” to take centre stage ??!!
    And how can bi-polar be also centre stage !!? Yes it can !! And that is tripolar, considering the acute clinical aspects of the syndromme.
    Yep, Gonzales you hit the target alright, although, part of the condition, this character reckons he smart, elusive.
    At least if with each new ID he could alocate a different style of toilet lingo and intentsity of mental turbulence.

  • TheSadducee says:

    When will the editors step in and clean this thread up?

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Elijah, I linked to the text of s. 49A. If you think I misinterpreted it, or if you think the version at AustLII is out of date, please feel free to enlighten us. The paragraph you quote is wrong or at least oversimplified: it makes no reference to the elements of intention that are fundamental to that section.

    The alleged investigation of Rabbi A. Glick will try to find evidence of several key elements – acts or omits; aids, facilitates, contributes; gain; person (legal person? i.e. Yeshivah Beth Rivkah); reckless & commission.

    I have no idea what an “alleged investigation” might be. Investigations are not elements of a crime, the existence of which must be proven in a court. Is there an investigation or not? If you mean that someone told you that there was an investigation, why not say so rather than be coy about it?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Joe in Oz

    what have you done !!!
    Elijah, aka Daniel Levy aka who knows who, does not need encouragement.
    It is too obvious that he (them ) has (have) something acutely disturbing buzzing between his ( their) ears against the entire Jewish establishment.
    Otherwise, thanks for clarifying the legal aspects. Maybe too clear now to be left in this state by Elijah’s own state.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    As if competing with some OTHER denominations, Manny Waks stated in his deposition at the current enquiry into child abuse that paedophilia is “endemic” within the Jewish community.
    Vicious, innacurrate, irresponsible !!
    Impossible to figure out in which community is Manny Waks attempting to make an impact. Any anti Semite shall grasp with glee such a false and tendentious statement while the Jewish community should make it clear that Manny Waks’ persona is non gratta among us.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Otto, It’s worth noting that the others on this thread giving Manny a hard time are careful to remain anonymous.

    There are good reasons for that.

    Apart from the usual cowardice, they understand that there is nothing uglier to the average, decent human being than trying to vilify an abuse survivor and victims’ advocate.

    Otto, you’re putting your name to a number of comments whose many factual errors clearly demonstrate a considerable lack of familiarity with what’s going on.

    I’d strongly advise doing a bit of preliminary reading and then keeping up with the news on this matter before weighing in with nasty comments.

    FWIW, Daniel and Elijah are different people. Why you would imagine there could only exist one Jew who would support Manny is beyond me.

    You and the other people vilifying Manny comprise a tiny minority, and it’s not particularly nice company to be keeping.

  • TheSadducee says:

    “child abuse that paedophilia is “endemic” within the Jewish community.
    Vicious, innacurrate, irresponsible !!”

    – how do you substantiate your conclusions with factual evidence?

  • It’s not clear from Waks’ comment whether the “endemic” label referred to past or present, or to acts of abuse themselves or subsequent cover-ups. In any case, it is a headline-grabbing pejorative, and has been applied as a generalization, which could easily offend many people within our diverse Jewish community.

    Sadducee – you’ve demanded that Otto support his claim with factual evidence, yet not asked the same of Waks. Is that fair? That Waks will “assure you” (as he has three times in his statement) is not factual evidence.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    David Werdiger, Waks is literally having his day in court.

    Do you understand what you are asking for? A public list of victims and perpetrators. That would be tantamount to tainting all the evidence he is privvy to for the trial and being held in contempt of court.

    We will literally find out soon enough, from the court system of Australia, if what Manny is saying is true. Given Manny’s nature, I doubt he is lying.

  • I look forward to him and other victims having their day in court, confronting their alleged attackers, and the conclusion of a judicial process.

    His statement to the inquiry was not evidence in a court.

    Of course we can’t expect him at this stage to name names and make things public to “prove” what he’s saying is true. Equally, it’s unreasonable to demand of Otto to “prove” any counter claims.

    Unfortunately, much has festered in the blogosphere and other public channels until the true day in court comes.

    Just curious – is your assessment of Manny’s nature and the truth of his remarks based on personal knowledge?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Thanks david Werdiger.
    I can only add “ditto” and “ditto”.
    For all those anxious to …protect not yet or, why not, unsubstantiated statements, such as the inflamatory “endemic” I will also note that Manny Waks is not at all impresive in his usage of terminology, he seems less than sophisticated in his vernacular and, as a complement, some of his terminology choices are not supported by converse reality. Look again at endemic in relation to thise subject matter. Let us take a ceratin religious denomination quite central in the said enquiry. People appearing in the same forum as “our” M,anny Waks have stated that, in certain religious order, part of the educational arm of that religion, there have been THOUSANDS of complaints of the same abhorent nature, FORMALLY made with several entities, all descrptive of child molestation, abuse etc. Now, THAT is ENDEMIC !!! I shall not insult you and urge to check your dictionaries, but will appeal to ballanced, commonsensical comments, comensurate even with the “revealed” Jewish communiti incidence of the same, to whatever extent, by Manny Waks.
    Incidentally, Manny Waks accuses (!!) ECAJ of the fact that he knows that there is a Jewish child molester “out there” roaming free etc. Can someone clarify the logic of ECAJ being liable for that……!! Yet, Manny Waks indulges in this kind of rationale, thus dragging ECAJ into the mud of outrageous behaviour not at all dissimilar to the demonstrated liability of OTHER communal/religious high authorities. This intended analogy of PROPRTION is false, vicious and reeking of personal agenda rather than reasonable behaviour.
    Is this responsible ??!! Convince me !

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Alex

    thanks for your concern.
    Waldmanns are not that fein skinned. We can stand by our convictions and, so far, none of us has been convicetd of libel etc.

  • Gonzales says:

    Eds: Comment removed. If you want to say personal things about a particular family, then at minimum, you should be commenting under your real name.

  • TheSadducee says:

    David W

    I’ve know and have worked alongside Manny daily. He can confirm this. Have you or Otto?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Saducee

    ..to confirm what !!??

  • Sadducee – I do know Manny and the Waks family personally. That question was directed at Daniel Levy’s comment.

  • Elijah says:

    Joe in Australia,

    I would read s49A Crimes Act 1958 as:
    Facilitating sexual offences against children.
    (1)Subject to this section, a person who in Victoria omits to do any other act that aids, facilitates or contributes to in any way whatever the commission by another person of an offence against this Subdivision {(8C) Sexual offences against children} is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 3 imprisonment (20 years maximum).
    (2) For a person to be guilty of an offence against subsection (1) the person (a) must omit to do the other act with a view to gain for another person; and (b) must (ii) be reckless as to whether or not the conduct would aid, facilitate or contribute to the commission of an offence of the type committed by the other person.

    Therefore, Victoria Police are allegedly looking for evidence that would support each of the elements necessary for sustaining this offence.
    This evidence will either come from the two court cases that will likely take place in 2013 and from other sources. Hence, a conviction from one of the two trials for offences described in Sub Division 8C might constitute the element of commission. Who could be “another person”? Maybe the person committed to stand trial or is it a legal person such as one of the entities that control Yeshivah Beth Rivkah? What is gain? Is gain financial or maintaining reputation or some other form of intellectual asset?

    Reckless is understood as involving foresight of or advertence to the consequences of a contemplated act and a willingness to run the risk of the probability of those consequences occurring.

    Lets say a fish keeper has an aquarium, in it are Angel fish of various colours. People who see the aquarium tell the fish keeper that the green Angel fish are being attacked by a lone red Angel fish. One day the fish keeper finds a dead mauled green Angel fish. Some time later there is another dead mauled green Angel fish and people continue to tell the fish keeper about the actions of the lone red Angel fish. A period later there is another dead mauled green Angel fish. The fish keeper doesn’t remove the lone red Angel fish from the aquarium, subsequently there are further losses of the green Angel fish. The fish keeper gets another red Angel fish and sometime later decides to give the original red Angel fish to a mate that has an aquarium, but doesn’t warn him about the problems he was having. The problems with dead green Angel fish continue. It is said that 2 is a coincidence, 3 is a trend and 4 is a certainty. Is the fish keeper reckless?

    Otto,
    Communicating abhorrence for people who protect or facilitate or apologise for the scum that abuse children (sexually or other ways) is not a “vile incursions against Orthodox Jews”, nor is it to “aid known sectors of detractors of all matters Jewish”, nor is it going “against the entire Jewish establishment”. This is a Jewish website dealing with Jewish issues responded to by Jews.

    By the way, I do like out little spars. Its quite good fun to try and work out what you are saying. “It is too obvious that” the short circuit that wearing a Shtreimel has caused the “acutely disturbing buzzing between” your “ears” might be rectified by connecting a 9 Volt battery to the tin foil under your Shtreimel, unless the cooking has permanently damaged the neural pathways.

    On “endemic”, this can be attributed to an AAP journalist by the name of Paul Mulvey. The AJN journalist, Timna Jacks didn’t quote the word endemic, but used it in the headline.

    Gonzales,
    Glad to see the editors realised what you are.

  • Seraphya says:

    This seems like it might be a good idea, but it is all looking to the future without seeming to assess the past or present.

    What about looking at what specific failings we have had as a community so we can make sure those don’t re-occur?

    What about doing a thorough check of what might be going on now inside our Jewish organizations? A lot of victims take years to talk to anyone about the abuse they suffered, we don’t want to wait 5-10 years for when victims of current abusers talk to their family or publicly.

    While individual cases should be brought to State authorities including Victoria Police and the Department of Human Services, shouldn’t there be a role for some part of the JCCV to ensure this happens and to look for cases to be brought to the authorities. The Jewish community and the JCCV don’t take this approach when it comes to the protection of Jews from the threats of antisemitism and terrorism, they also have the CSG. A different approach is also taken with emergency health with Hatzolah. Why should we say that we are leaving it completely up to the authorities when we are talking about protecting children by using the understandings and motivation we have as a community to protect our children?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Elijah

    I assume that you are fully aware of the fact that you speculate on the bassis of convenient reduction of principles and matters and use of facile fallacies not to mention the totally un and ill-inspired analogies.
    This site is NOT Jewish any more than a bench in a synagogue is Jewish. Those who post opinions are from all walks and crawls of life. Your boring and infantile refference to some head gear betrays limited vision as well as seriously prejudiced optic of Jewish identities.
    YOU DO NOT MAKE ANY VALD POINTS, especially when attempting to impress with improvised legal counsel. You address a legal case from the prima facie evidence of…………… legal texts.How relevant is that !!!

  • Vivien Resofsky. says:

    Call upon the JCCV to respond to the following child protection issues.

    •The JCCV dispel misconceptions about how we can protect children from sexual abuse.
    •Clarify the roles of the JCCV and The Taskforce in the community response to child sexual abuse.
    •Clarify whether the JCCV accept that parents need education about child sexual abuse that includes how to assess child protection policies, regulations, codes of conduct and management systems of service providers to children.

    ———————————————————————

    Since 2008, the issue of child sexual abuse has unfolded publicly in the Melbourne Jewish Community. Without doubt we would have done everything possible to protect the children who were abused in the past. For children growing up today you would think that we would be doing everything to learn from past experiences.

    For the past seven years The JCCV has supported the work of The Taskforce in relation to child sexual abuse prevention. The Taskforce assert that they are tackling child sexual abuse head and the JCCV’s public support of The Taskforce adds weight to this assertion.

    I have been attempting to engage the JCCV since 2008 about what I believe is The Taskforce’s dangerously misguided approach to the primary prevention of child sexual abuse and I was heartened to read about the established a Jewish Community Child Protection Reference Group. I believe that In order to protect from sexual abuse we need to be guided by professionally trained, experienced and genuine experts.

    It is extremely important that parents distinguish facts from misconceptions. Before we just ‘move on’ the JCCV need to dispel misconceptions about how we can protect children.

    The Taskforce have told us that teaching children to protect themselves will prevent child sexual abuse. According to Taskforce Chair, Debbie Wiener, “Giving a child the tools to say NO denies the perpetrator the opportunity to abuse.”

    This position has informed practice at the coal face. Mrs Balfour, head of The Early Learning Centre at Beth Rivkah, did not think it necessary to give parents information about how they can protect their children because she is so convinced that children under the age of 5 can protect themselves. The fact is that teaching children about child sexual abuse is necessary but it is not enough.

    Before we just ‘move on’ we also need to ask why important protective measures that parents should have and could have been told about 7 years ago, have been ignored.

    Mrs Bassat is right,
    “The broad issue of ‘risk management is a fundamental responsibility for organizations charged with the care of children and young people.”
    “In the absence of good risk management, organizations can unwittingly make themselves vulnerable to inappropriate staff and volunteers.”

    Parents have to right to know how to assess whether there are sound child protection policies, before a parent leaves a child in the care of others. They need education in order to ask the right questions.

    The following example will demonstrate why. Ms New told participants of a JCCV educational forum about children who were abused in the USA by Mr Baum the bus driver. Mr Baum would park the bus at the back of the Sears Department Store, draw a curtain at the back of the bus and proceed to abuse children on the bus.

    The children had been trained to stop people like Mr Baum from abusing them. Ultra Orthodox psychologist David Pelcovitz asked the children why they did not stop Mr Baum.

    Some children said that the video they watched to teach them to stop abuse was not about Mr Baum. In other words the children were not developmentally ready to apply what they had seen in the video to their situation with the bus driver. Some children thought they would get into trouble if they told their parents the disgusting things Mr Baum did to them.

    “Look at your children in the eye and tell them nothing that you do (or is done to you) will make me stop loving you.” Was the solution Ms New offered parents.

    Experts have told us for a long that children should be taught about personal safety but they don’t have the capacity to stop an abuser. Ms New’s example demonstrates why.

    Ms New did not tell parents that children are in danger when organizations don’t have child protection policies, regulations, codes of conduct and management systems in place or that the measures in place are inadequate.

    Parents need to be actively involved in creating a safe environment for their children. Why was there a curtain on the bus? Is there a policy limiting one adult-one child situations? What screening measures were conducted before Mr Baum was hired?

    With education parents will be able to ask questions of schools. Do you have a child protection policy in place? What do you do if someone is not quite appropriate around children? Have you considered safety in the physical environment?

    The example did however highlight the one proven benefit of educating children about sexual abuse. Children disclose that they have been abused sooner rather than later.

  • TheSadducee says:

    And this – great PR for the broader community (sarcasm)

    http://www.jwire.com.au/news/sexual-abuse-scandal/32037

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