You Are Here: Home » Responsa Resource » Jewish Thought » Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse

Question:

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I have spent a great deal of time trying to understand the abuse that I suffered, both in the context of psychology and also the frum community.

My question is as follows: does extreme religious segregation turn opportunists into pedophiles? Does the banning of genuinely sexless interactions such as handshaking in a business context, banning pictures of modestly dressed women, etc, create a sexual tension that has nowhere to go?

Answer:

It is impossible to say what exactly causes people to engage in such terrible deviant behavior. Often it comes from people themselves were abused or grew up in a very unhealthy environment. There is much work being done to stop this problem in many frum communities, where the focus is awareness, keeping safe and properly reporting to the authorities.

Being to extreme is unhealthy in all areas, but the issues you mention mostly involve actual questions of prohibitions, involved in touching and looking at women. So it would seem that our work should focus on the issues at hand as noted above. Perhaps mentors should be guided to provide an opportunity for people feeling frustrated to share their problems and seek help as necessary.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to top