Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rotherham abuse: Researcher's warning 'ignored in 2002', Child abuse royal commission: Rabbi Yosef Feldman resigns as director of Yeshiva centre

Rotherham abuse: Researcher's warning 'ignored in 2002'
By Alison Holt Social Affairs Correspondent, BBC News 9 February 2015

A former Home Office researcher says a bullying culture at Rotherham Council led to her warnings of child sexual exploitation being suppressed in 2002, years before action was finally taken.

A report this month by government official Louise Casey concluded the council was not "fit for purpose".

The way many in the authority denied a 2014 finding children were exploited between 1997 and 2013 was criticised.

The council says it is investigating researcher Adele Gladman's claims.

At the time of the claims, Ms Gladman was undertaking research for a Home Office pilot. But she found her findings about the scale of sexual exploitation in Rotherham were also met with denial....
Ms Gladman was based at Rotherham Council when she carried out the work for the Home Office.

She describes being subjected to bullying and intimidation after her research found a small number of men, mainly of Pakistani heritage, were sexually exploiting a significant number of young people.

She says the council sent her on race awareness training and effectively suppressed her report.

"I had every aspect of my professionalism questioned," she said.

"I had every aspect of my work questioned. I had data removed over a weekend so that I couldn't substantiate my findings. Fortunately I had made copies."

She says the bullying she faced went beyond the local authority and remembers a police officer approaching her outside her office.

"He and a colleague said words along the lines of 'Wouldn't it be a shame if these perpetrators found out where you and your family lived'.

"And I took that as a direct threat to my personal safety. The message was very clear."....

Child abuse royal commission: Rabbi Yosef Feldman resigns as director of Yeshiva centre
Tue 10 Feb 2015

Rabbi Feldman called for leniency for paedophiles who had been treated and had not offended for decades during his testimony. (ABC News)

The director of the ultra-orthodox Jewish Yeshiva centre in Sydney has resigned after last week telling a royal commission hearing he did not know it was a crime for an adult to touch a child's genitals.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman's evidence at a Melbourne hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was widely criticised by Australia's broader Jewish community.

In a statement, Rabbi Feldman apologised for the comments he made to the royal commission and said he would step down from all responsibilities as the director on the board of management at Yeshiva....

During the royal commission hearing, Rabbi Feldman said not all abuse cases should be referred to police and that paedophiles should be granted leniency.

"I would be asking for more leniency on people who have shown that they haven't offended in the last 20 years or decades ago, and have psychological analyses that this is the case," he said on Monday....

Vic Alhadeff from the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies said Rabbi Feldman was unfit to be a leader in the Jewish community.

"The remarks which have come to light are repugnant to Jewish values. They are not representative of the Jewish community," he said....

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