A Doctoral Candidate Writes:
The Moral Responsibility Research Project was launched in October 2007. The researchers are graduate students in psychology at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, and Loyola University. The focus of the research was the prevalence and effects of molestation in the Chicago Orthodox Jewish community. Using evidence-based best practices the team set out to research this vital subject.
The following is a sampling of the data compiled to date:
1 in 6 Chicago Orthodox Jewish teenage boys reported being molested at least once.
1 in 5 Chicago Orthodox Jewish teenage girls reported being molested at least once.
Boys who are victims:
52% reported being molested by teachers
35% reported being molested by a relative
13% reported being molested by a friend/others
Girls who are victims:
0% reported being molested by teachers
73% reported being molested by a relative
27% reported being molested by a friend/others
Who did you report this to?
57% reported this to parents
20% reported this to a school/community rabbi
0% reported this to police
23% reported this to no one
Why didn’t you tell the police?
10% responded - their parents wouldn’t allow it
54% responded - their rabbi doesn’t approve of informing on another Jew
15% responded - they feel guilty about what happened
21% responded - they fear for their family safety, financial stability or prestige
Of those who reported the abuse:
How knowledgeable and accepting was the person you spoke to?
50% responded - very knowledgeable and empathetic
30% responded - knowledgeable but unsympathetic
10% reported - it went right over their head
10% reported - being insulted
What was harder for you, being victimized or coming forward and talking?
63% responded - coming forward
37% responded - being victimized
13% responded - coming forward
87% responded - being victimized
Those who did not report the abuse to anyone:
63% responded - it would ruin the prospect of leading the life they desire
19% responded - "Who needs to deal with a mental health worker?"
16% responded - "I must be a terrible person so why tell people how bad I am?"
2% responded - I don’t know
All victims were asked these two questions:
1] Does God still love you?
73% responded - Yes
20% responded - No
7% responded - I don’t know
2] After what you went through do you still love God?
23% responded - Yes
77% responded - No