The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) expresses concern and distress at a recent video which has appeared in local and international media which shows a confrontation between a known victim advocate and an individual he has alleged sexually abused him as a child.
In particular, the RCV is concerned at what appears to be a suggestion by the individual that the then child somehow consented to a sexual encounter between the two and is thus in some way responsible for the alleged abuse.
The RCV wishes to state unequivocally in this regard:
Victims of abuse should never ever be made to feel responsible for the crimes committed against them. Children are never at fault for child sexual abuse. Any suggestion of this is extremely dangerous and could be detrimental to a victims' healing process or potentially prevent a victim from coming forward.
Whilst there has been much work done in the prevention of child sexual abuse, it is important for religious leaders, lay leaders and the community in general to regularly be educated and reminded of the impact that child sexual abuse has on victims and to ensure their policies and procedures are kept current and training in the matter is ongoing.
The RCV is committed to speaking out in support of victims.