South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

Missing voices: Women and the Jewish community’s response to child sexual abuse

By Vivien Resofsky, Social Worker

This essay is an account of my decade-long battle with the issue of child sexual abuse in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community and the significant lack of female representation in this field.

Specifically, I am concerned with the missing voices of both female victims and advocates, two groups of women who should be at the forefront of the fight against child sexual abuse, yet were nowhere to be found during the time of the Royal Commission Hearing in 2015.

I aim to explore possible reasons for this absence, as well as the fraught way in which those females who do participate respond to their community’s needs.

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