Ultra-Orthodox Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
By SHARON OTTERMAN and RAY RIVERA May 9, 2012
The first shock came when Mordechai Jungreis learned that his mentally disabled teenage son was being molested in a Jewish ritual bathhouse in Brooklyn. The second came after Mr. Jungreis complained, and the man accused of the abuse was arrested.
Old friends started walking stonily past him and his family on the streets of Williamsburg. Their landlord kicked them out of their apartment. Anonymous messages filled their answering machine, cursing Mr. Jungreis for turning in a fellow Jew....
Abuse victims and their families have been expelled from religious schools and synagogues, shunned by fellow ultra-Orthodox Jews and targeted for harassment intended to destroy their businesses. Some victims’ families have been offered money, ostensibly to help pay for therapy for the victims, but also to stop pursuing charges, victims and victims’ advocates said....
Some ultra-Orthodox Jews want to keep abuse allegations quiet to protect the reputation of the community, and the family of the accused. And rabbinical authorities, eager to maintain control, worry that inviting outside scrutiny could erode their power, said Samuel Heilman, a professor of Jewish studies at Queens College....
In Brooklyn, of the 51 molesting cases involving the ultra-Orthodox community that the district attorney’s office says it has closed since 2009, nine were dismissed because the victims backed out. Others ended with plea deals because the victims’ families were fearful.
“People aren’t recanting, but they don’t want to go forward,” said Rhonnie Jaus, a sex crimes prosecutor in Brooklyn. “We’ve heard some of our victims have been thrown out of schools, that the person is shunned from the synagogue. There’s a lot of pressure.”
Dr. Phil "My Husband, My Kids and My Multiple Personalities" May 10, 2012
Tracy is a married mother of four who says her life was forever changed the day she was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder. She says she has five personalities, or “alters:” Emily, a frightened 5-year-old child; Becky, who cuts, bruises, chokes and has threatened to kill Tracy; Susie, an innocent 10-year-old child; Samantha, “the CEO” and Miss Anne, “the caretaker.” Tracy says that she’ll oftentimes black out when an alter takes over and that the transition back to being Tracy can make her physically ill. Joined by her husband, Tyler, the couple says Tracy's alter egos and unpredictable moods are causing strain on their marriage, and they're struggling to explain her erratic behavior to their children. Is Tracy’s diagnosis real?
Then, in a Dr. Phil first, Tracy transitions between her alters onstage. Speaking as Becky and Susie, can Dr. Phil gather insight into Tracy’s disorder? Tracy’s therapist, Dr. Peggy Avent, joins the show and explains her diagnosis. Could a secret from Tracy’s childhood hold the key to understanding her illness? Tracy’s mom, Sandy, weighs in and shares why she blames herself.
Information on Dissociative Identity Disorder