I am incredibly grateful to the many wonderful women of Baltimore who have been offering me validation and support online!
Many people don't realize that the secondary trauma of not being believed, or supported, is even more traumatic and damaging than the actual sexual abuse (which is bad enough.)
If a child tells you they were abused, especially by someone they love, believe them.
No one wants to be abused by someone they love and depend on.
It is devastating.
There is nothing quite as shameful.
When I first reached out to the Baltimore community over twenty years ago I was given the message that I was a liar, crazy, hallucinating, or that even if something happened I should forget about it and move on....And those were the nicer reactions.
About two years ago I sent a letter to every Rabbi with an Orthodox shul in Baltimore. I included my contact details and those of my therapist.
Neither my therapist, nor I received a single response.
A valid investigation includes speaking with the actual people involved.
Those women who want to make a difference, please respectfully ask your rabbi why he did not respond to my letter.
It would be healing to hear that your rabbi didn't receive it.
Or, that he trusted another rabbi who claimed to have conducted a valid investigation.
And that he is actually interested in truth, and in the safety of Baltimore's precious children.
It is healing to have a voice in Baltimore, and to discover that their is a safe community of religious women in the very same community where I was so badly hurt.
Thank you Hashem!
Thank you Baltimore!
P.S. I will republish the letter that I sent to the rabbis later today.