Maccabi: Victims speak through Tzedek

August 20, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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37-yr-old Shannon Francis was sentenced to 5 and a half years minimum imprisonment for sexual offenses against young girls including two charges of sex with a minor. Some of the girls involved were members of a Maccabi basketball team. Tzedek, the advocacy group headed by Manny Waks, has issued a statement on behalf of some of the girls…

This is the correct file“In response to the Maccabi Australia statement regarding Shannon Francis, Tzedek has issued the following statement, which is on behalf of some of the victims involved in the case:

We appreciate the statement released by Maccabi Australia regarding the sexual abuse of Maccabi members by their former employee, Shannon Francis, dated Thursday August 15th, 2013. Their unreserved apology is welcomed.

We would like to reiterate, as has previously been expressed directly to Maccabi Australia, that our concerns are not, and have never been, directed towards the way the matter was handled in 2000. It is the lack of support and sensitivity shown from Maccabi Australia since the charges were laid against Mr Francis in 2011 that has been the cause of much distress.

Maccabi290In the statement, Maccabi Australia claim to have received no “official notification”, and maintain that the suppression order prevented them from pursuing the matter. We take particular objection to these claims, however, we have chosen to forego a critical response to these statements and look towards the future.

We believe that the true test of Maccabi Australia’s unreserved apology will be in the way they handle these matters going forward. Though they cannot absolve themselves of their past errors, they have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned from the unfortunate events of 2000, and ensure the safety and well-being of their members in the future. We understand that efforts are in place to publish a new Member Protection Policy, and we anticipate the implementation of this policy along with clear and refined Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Team Managers, Parents and Players in all Maccabi clubs.

We hope that parents can have the confidence to send their children to play sport and connect with the Jewish community through Maccabi. We hope that Maccabi Australia will in turn respect the duty of care they have to their members, and always make the safety and well-being of the children in their care a priority.”

J-Wire emailed the statement to Maccabi Australia president Lisa Borowick inviting a statement. None has yet been received.

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