Community welcomes the Royal Commission report

December 1, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has commended the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for its report into the response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions.

Anton Block

Anton Block

“We are currently reviewing the full findings of the report and commend the Royal Commission on such a thorough and considered investigation”, said the ECAJ’s newly-elected President, Anton Block. “Evidence that was presented during the commission’s public hearings demonstrated systemic failures and breaches of important duties of care that must never be repeated. The hurt and pain that these events caused survivors and their families must never be forgotten and assistance must always be made available to them.”

Mr Block stressed that anyone found to have betrayed the trust of children under their care or supervision must be held to account to the full extent of the law. “The abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, is abhorrent, particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority. All claims of abuse must be treated with the utmost seriousness. There is no place for victims to be ostracized or “punished” in any way for coming forward and making a complaint. On the contrary, they should be given every support. We will study the Commission’s findings closely and continue to push for important changes where they have yet to be implemented.”

The Jewish Community Council of  Victoria (JCCV) welcomes the report published yesterday by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse focusing on the responses of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi.  The findings in the report are no great surprise but nevertheless are highly disturbing and distressing.

Jennifer Huppert

Jennifer Huppert

All community organisations, community leaders and community members must be committed to the protection, health and safety of our children as the number one priority of the community.  Victims must be respected, listened to and supported.  Our institutions must be safe for our children, without exception.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert stated, “The inaction, lack of reporting and absence of support for victims is totally unacceptable.  We all expect our community leaders and rabbis to set an example, and that includes protecting the vulnerable, supporting the victimised and having zero tolerance for child sexual abuse.”
Professionals and volunteers working with or around children must be appropriately trained, community organisations must have child protection policies and procedures in place, and religious leaders must reinforce the messages of protecting children, reporting incidents to authorities and supporting victims.

Ms Huppert stated, “It is coincidental that today we have issued the JCCV Child Safe Policy.  This relates to JCCV as a peak body, including its Executive, staff, committee members and volunteers.  It is vital that as a community roof body we set the example to our affiliated and other community organisations to have a clear policy in place.  It includes JCCV’s commitment to child safety and our code of conduct.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff commented:  “We are currently reviewing the full findings of the report and commend the Royal Commission on such a thorough and considered investigation. Evidence that was presented during the commission’s public hearings demonstrated systemic failures and  breaches of important duties of care that must never be repeated. The hurt and pain that these events caused survivors and their families must never be forgotten and assistance always made available to them. We will study the Commission’s findings closely and continue to push for important changes where they have yet to be implemented.”

 

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