By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Avremi Zippel, Program Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah in Salt Lake City, is working to establish a partnership between Chabad International and the National Children’s Alliance, Deseret News reported.
Zippel, who recently told his story about being allegedly abused by his nanny for 10 years from age 8-18, met the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers in Washington, DC.
Deseret News reported that Zippel’s story “had a profound reverberation throughout Chabad across the world, sparking earnest conversations about child abuse prevention for the first time, and catalyzing a #MeToo movement of sorts within the Orthodox Jewish world.”
Since the publication of his story, Zippel says he has been receiving thousands of calls and texts from people describing themselves on Twitter as a #survivor and advocate for survivors of abuse worldwide.
“The meeting is momentous, it’s the first opportunity for concrete change since the article came out,” Zippel told the Deseret News about meeting Teresa Huizar, executive director, and Blake Warenik, director of communications, both of the National Children’s Alliance.
“All the admiration and warm wishes and nice thoughts are great, but here is a chance to really do something, to make an impact within the observant community. The profoundness of this moment is not lost on me. There is a real chance here,” he said.
At the meeting, Zippel discussed a potential partnership between the National Children’s Alliance and a group of Chabad rabbis who reached out to him about creating a network for families in their communities who have experienced abuse.
He explains his hope for creating a streamlined process for the prevention of abuse in the Chabad world, and a protocol for ensuring that instances of abuse are handled appropriately and rapidly, by looping in law enforcement as well as directing victims and their families to mental health services, Desert News reported.
“Above all, the purpose is to remind Chabad families who endure this kind of situation that they are not alone,” said Zippel told the newspaper, adding that he walked away feeling optimistic and excited about the positive impact such a partnership could have on the community.