No one can say that Catholics have a monopoly on hiding the sexual abuse of children. The Catholic Church may have a larger public record of it, but protecting the faith/bureaucracy over children affects many religious groups. Case in point:
ONE of Australia’s leading rabbis told a man whose son had been allegedly sexually abused by a youth group leader at a Melbourne Jewish school that the child would not need counselling because he was under eight years old, court documents say.
[…] In court documents, the parents of two separate boys said they went to Yeshivah Centre director Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner in the 1980s to complain about alleged molestation.
The parents of both boys said no action was taken, with one woman saying her son was abused for another three years after her complaint.
David Samuel Cyprys is charged with 53 offences against 12 boys that allegedly occurred between 1982 and 1991. Cyprys worked as a former security guard at the Yeshivah Centre in St. Kilda East under Rabbi Groner. Yet it appears Groner did nothing to prevent the abuse. According to one father, Groner went so far as to claim that the man’s son was “too young” for counselling:
One father said he told Rabbi Groner in 1984 that Cyprys had ”interfered” with his son. ” He told me that [the boy] wouldn’t need counselling because [he] was under eight years old,” the man said in a statement.
”Rabbi Groner told me he had spoken to psychologists before and they had told him because the children are so young counselling would not be necessary. Since that day I never heard another word.”
A mother stated that Groner told her that he thought Cyprys had been cured, which she took to mean that Cyprys had abused children before.
Another Rabbi claimed not to know about any abuse:
Rabbi Abraham Glick, who was the principal of Yeshivah College between 1986 and 2007, said he had no recollection of any child or parent making a complaint to him about Cyprys molesting children.
Glick went on to state that their was a code of silence among the children at the time, claiming that they kept it in “their world,” preferring not to talk about the abuse with adults.
One wonders why when it appears one adult apparently in the know did so much to put an end to the abuse.
Fear can keep kids silent. According to one of the victims, Cyprys was never violent, but was able to scare the kids because of his size, his status, his martial arts background, and because he had the keys to everything. Many abusers use that kind of casual intimidation to keep kids quiet.
Yet that would not explain this level of silence because eventually some child will tell someone. This level of silence comes from those boys seeing how the adults in power protected Cyprys. If the boys knew that none of the rabbis would do anything about Cyprys, some may have chosen to remain quiet. Worse, if they saw that even when a boy did tell Cyprys was allowed to continue to abuse him, which one mother claims happened to her son, that is the more reason for the boys to keep it to themselves.
That said, one must marvel at how quickly people turn to protect their status and reputation. One can expect to hear many more “I never saw abuse” comments as this case moves forward.