Child abuse
Child abuseiStock

Exposing the brutal and shocking rape of a seven-year-old girl by an Arab sharpens the need to inform parents, especially the Torah observant public, how to act with children to prevent similar situations.

As every year in the last five years and looking towards the coming summer vacation, Jewish Community Watch (JCW) is organizing a protection workshop for parents to keep their children safe.

The workshop will include a protection presentation, a lecture where professionals will explain to parents how to talk to their children and warn them of the dangers they face, and how to identify a child in distress.

Yaakov Sela of JCW explained to Arutz Sheva the purpose of the workshops: "They are intended primarily for the general public, but we're approached mainly by the national religious and haredi communities, and the workshops are taught in Hebrew, English. and French."

He says, "The workshops include parents' guidance on how to protect their children. Many times we hear that what we're trying to suggest is that children must defend themselves. That is not the case. We are parents who are committed to protecting the children and in the workshop we learn how to warn children about various dangers, how to identify distress, and how to understand that the child is going through something not good. In addition, we give out a booklet on how to give these things over to children."

He notes that shame in the religious and haredi public is great and sometimes leads to cover-ups, which is not the right solution. "Among the national-religious public and even less among the haredi public do we discuss these things. I remember when the rapist Benny Sela escaped from prison, I heard a girl tell her friend, 'A well-known child kidnapper escaped from prison and we have to beware of him.' We provide the parents with the way to talk to the children about dangers that lie ahead. Summer vacation is coming and the children are out more so we focus our workshop on the summer vacation and how to guide our children to look after themselves."

JCW treats victims of sexual offenses in Israel and around the world. It has a legal counsel department that accompanies victims and a large support system, including psychological treatment, if required. It also exposes sex offenders and warns about them.

"We accompany crime victims on their way to file a complaint, especially those who are afraid to. The haredi community is greatly concerned about community response, and for this we have contact with many rabbis from all walks of life. They guide us on how to deal with predators. We succeeded in raising awareness in the religious community in general and in haredi society in particular about the dangers outside and how to deal with them, and this is a significant achievement," concludes Yaakov Sela.