Progressives submit to the sexual abuse Royal Commission

November 28, 2012 by  
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The Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) strongly supports the establishment of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and has commended the government for setting up a body that will review past crimes, provide an opportunity for victims to have their voices heard and make recommendations to ensure that institutions and individuals not be able to commit such acts and will be accountable for such crimes in the future.

In a statement released yesterday, Executive Director Steve Denenberg said:

“The UPJ recognises that child abuse, just like other crimes and abhorrent social behaviour, are not found exclusively in any particular social or religious group and that all parts of society should be subject to review, including the religious community.

The UPJ has been shocked and saddened by examples of abuse within Jewish institutions.  Even more, we have been outraged by the unacceptable behaviour of people in positions of authority who chose to “turn a blind eye” rather than report the perpetrator to the appropriate authorities.  This is completely contrary to the Jewish imperative of pikuah nefesh (protecting the soul), particularly of those in danger or at risk of harm.

With regard to the proposed Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission we believe it to be important that those affected by this abuse should have the opportunity to share their experiences either publically or in private; and that their views are given serious consideration in the recommendations of the Commission;

We believe that the Commission must be provided with sufficient resources to ensure that the review is carried out thoroughly but within a reasonably defined period.”


We believe that the recommendations should focus on the provision of full restitution to the victims of past abuse and on establishing structures that will prevent abuse in the future being perpetrated and overlooked by those in positions of authority.


2 Responses to “Progressives submit to the sexual abuse Royal Commission”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Yes, and the same survivors network and Melbourne researcher, advocate and lawyer Judy Courtin, is preparing a report about abuse and suicide related deaths which originated in Victoria and now Australia wide, for the International Criminal Court, [SMH Nov.27 2012]
    That lady is studying for her PhD at the Faculty of law Monash University.

  2. Judy Jones says:

    Brave clergy abuse victims and their family members are to be commended for having the courage to speak up and take action to expose the truth about their sex abuse and the cover up within the church in Australia. This is not an easy thing to do.

    Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever…
    BUT, an even more powerful danger is when high ranking church officials enable, empower, and cover up these crimes against kids. They need to be held accountable for allowing more innocent kids to be sexually abused so that kids are better protected now.

    Child sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue, so let’s hope that every person who saw, suspected or may have been harmed, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police, not the church officials. They are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes.
    Keep in mind that child predators rarely have only one victim, so your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP USA. and SNAP Australia
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word priest in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, teachers, Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like orphanages, summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.”

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