By COLlive reporter
“Kinderlach, open your eyes, it happens everywhere. It does not matter what color your blood is or your if father talks with a Neveler accent or your grandfather was born in Kremenchuk or Connecticut.”
This is part of what Mrs. Miryam Swerdlov, a known educator in Crown Heights, intends to say Thursday night at a lecture about preventing and dealing with child abuse.
In an interview with COLlive.com ahead of the lecture, she said that “you have no idea what an epidemic this is. It’s a lot more rampant than people can understand.”
People like the noted psychiatrist and the author Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski have often warned that “child abuse is a most serious offense, and can have long range effects on a child.”
But Swerdlov, a teacher at Bais Rivkah High School, admits that “the frum community is on this issue where medicine was 50 years ago. The situation today is that everybody knows but are ashamed to discuss or deal with it.”
The “evening of education, guidance and support for parents and educators on preventing and dealing with child abuse” will be held Thursday, December 16, 2010, at 8:00 PM at Bais Rivkah School on 310 Crown Street.
In addition to Swerdlov, Dr. David Pelcovitz, Professor of Psychology and Education at Yeshiva University and Rabbi Levi Kaplan, Director of Jewish Technical Vocational School in Brooklyn, will be speaking.
Asked about the timing of the event, Swerdlov said any occasion is a good occasion to battle the issue.
“Did it happen 50 years ago? Yes. What did we do about it? Put it under the rug. But we saw what it did to our children – you don’t know how many ‘tzarois’ are caused because of it. I say, our kids are not allowed to suffer anymore.”
She mentions recent stories that made the news, such as a rabbi in Midwood who molested his daughter and others with his son, and other horror stories that shocked the community.
Swerdlov says, “Most of these cases are initiated by people we are most close with and feel comfortable around. We must tell our children that certain things are not acceptable even if it’s just your uncle Dovid, you cousin Shmil or even your friend Avi.”
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DATE: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 8:00 PM
LOCATION: Bais Rivkah school on 310 Crown Street
INFO: For men and women. Free admission