Update 11/11/2019: B”H Chavie is doing very well, and holding strong. Sadly, while we thought her family would come around, they have not, and she needs our support so she can stay in school and continue with her clinical care.
July 16, 2019
One would think that after the recent release of the Amudim PSA titled This is Not Us, people would wake up to the sad reality of cover ups, blaming victims and using any and all resources to help predators but, apparently, we still have a long way to go.
Thankfully, we have seen a huge increase in call volume since the successful release of the video, with many people getting the help they need and a large number of families coming to terms with difficult realities. But even a single victim in pain is one too many, which is why I am pleading for your help on behalf of a truly brave 19 year old girl.
Chavie (name changed to protect her identity) was sexually abused by a family member for six years from the time she was nine years old, never saying a word to anyone because she knew she wouldn’t get the help she needed in her community. While spending this past year in a Jerusalem seminary Chavie summoned up the courage to call Amudim Israel for help and she was referred to a highly qualified trauma specialist where she has been doing well.
Coming home during one of her school breaks, Chavie had reason to suspect that another family member was very possibly being abused by the same relative. After calling her therapist for guidance, she told senior family members both about her own abuse as well as what she believed was currently taking place and was informed that the matter would be looked into, with appropriate action to be taken if anything was wrong.
A few weeks later, Chavie discovered that her worst fears had been proven true. Calling home from seminary, she asked how things were going only to be told to mind her own business and not to say a word to a soul or she would never be able to find a shidduch. Unwilling to let the abuse continue, Chavie called child services and law enforcement on her abuser, resulting in his arrest.
While Chavie’s bravery may have saved a younger relative, her family was anything but pleased with her actions. They cut her off completely and made it clear that until she notifies both police and the district attorney that she made up the entire story, she is no longer part of the family and that she is on her own financially as well. Adding insult to injury, the family hired a top notch attorney to represent the abuser, posting approximately $50,000 in bail to secure his release.
Chavie is currently in dire straits. Clearly she cannot go back home and will therefore be spending her summer in Israel and doing Shana Bet in seminary. I turn to you hoping that you can show true compassion and help us raise the funds needed for Chavie to continue her trauma treatment and stay in school, living a normal life in a positive and healthy environment like all of her friends. By supporting this cause you are not only helping Chavie financially but also giving her chizuk, something that she needs now more than ever before.
It is hard to believe that people still have no problem re victimizing the victim and expending all of their resources to help an abuser, a situation that is completely unacceptable. I urge you to please do all you can to help Chavie. No matter how small or large your donation, every penny counts, and if you cannot afford to help financially, please share this cause with others who can. Additionally, you can let Chavie know that she isn’t alone by sending her an email at [email protected] – we will share the emails with her and your emotional will support will go a long way.
Thanking you in advance,
Zvi Gluck – Director of Amudim