Did you succeed Vivien?

In an article on abuse, social worker, Vivien Resofsky, wrote:

I first saw a Rabbi about child sexual abuse in 2004 while I was working at Jewish Care. A terrible example of child sexual abuse was the catalyst. The abuse had gone on for years and finally the girl had the courage to ask for help. She went to a teacher she trusted at Beth Rivkah Ladies College but the teacher did not help her. Instead she told her student that she was not a pure diamond because her parents were not born into Ultra Orthodox families and had become Ultra Orthodox by choice. (Baal Teshuvah).
Despite the fact that the teacher was mandated to report disclosures of abuse she did nothing and consequently nothing in the girl’s life changed. So the girl did something she could do by herself and began to hurt herself physically. Luckily, she came across a doctor who not only knew how to respond but had the confidence and conviction to respond responsibly.
There were other referrals about child sexual abuse and in my opinion, many people who were working with children weren’t sufficiently educated and confident to deal with child sexual abuse.

I realise that social workers are trained to refer and support. They do a magnificent job. My daughter is a great social worker, but as far as I know they don’t treat per se. Perhaps Vivien can also tell us whether she or others associated with the case that she lists, convinced the girl to report the alleged abuser(s)? I hope they did. Vivien is associated with Tzedek, I believe.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

7 thoughts on “Did you succeed Vivien?”

  1. Vivien, I cannot comment on thespecific incident you talk about at Beth Rivkah in 2004; however I would venture to say that in all sections of the community and beyond much has been learned in the last decade.
    This has nothing to do with Orthodox Conservative Reform or non aligned, it is a universal issue which has no boundaries, there are sick evil people everywhere
    We are now living in times when there is greater awareness of these issues, teachers are now fully aware that they must report to the authorities when they believe their students are being abused.
    Let us not point s the finger at any one group, but at the perpetrator whomever they maybe.


  2. A constant excuse I keep hearing is that it was 30 years, 20 years, 10 years ago and we didn’t know any better then and that justifies why we let rapists keep raping.

    Hope I don’t keep hearing that excuse in 10, 20, 30 years from now.

    Perhaps Rabbis should also be made mandatory reporters, whether they think it is mesirah or not.


    1. I don’t think it is so much an excuse but a social commentary of the times. The fact is that people were clueless about such things. They thought it was a temporary aberration like chicken pox, that could be “cured”. It’s not right, but that is the reality. It happened in non Charedi places as well. That being said, we are held to higher accountability. This means we MUST acquaint ourselves with the best secular knowledge of the human condition and deal with the dangers to our society. There are still too many traumatised victims that will not come forward—ever. They will have to live with their trauma and dilemma. The way forward has to be education, and make sure that every kid, teacher, parent, Rabbi and whatever, knows exactly what the issues are, and brings anyone who smells of this act to the police.


  3. What about the geferleche matzav at Adass perpetrated by an Israeli monster? Perhaps that would be deemed a tragedy by the teacher at Beis Rivkah, assuming that all the Bnos Yisroel at Adass are “pure diamonds” as opposed to the “cubic zirconia” variety at Beis Rivkah


  4. Re your comment on social workers ‘treating’ people who have been sexually abused/assaulted. Some CASA counsellors are psychologists, some are social workers. They do exactly the same job of providing therapeutic treatment and the caseload is not divided by profession. Re counselling in general. Social workers with some specific practise experience and who get accredited, come under medicare-rebated mental health professionals to whom people can be referred for counselling. Some social workers do mainly or only assessment and referrals- others do specialist tasks and may concentrate on counselling or solely do counselling- especially as they become more experienced and do ongoing training.


    1. Welcome Jane. Vivien is a social worker, as is my daughter. They don’t ‘treat’ per se. They refer. They have an incredibly important role, as I’ve witnessed. My question remains, Ms Resovsky is very vocal, and she clearly has an agenda. I invite Ms Resovsky to tell us about her success stories. In particular, did she manage to get the the allegedly abused to open up and name her alleged abuser?


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