The Awareness Center closed. We operated from April 30, 1999 - April 30, 2014. This site is being provided for educational & historical purposes.
We were the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA); and were dedicated to ending sexual violence in Jewish communities globally. We did our best to operate as the make a wish foundation for Jewish survivors of sex crimes. In the past we offered a clearinghouse of information, resources, support and advocacy.
Forty-six percent of all sex crimes committed against children occur in the home. The remaining fifty-four perecent is made up of babysitters, teachers, doctors, therapists, scout leaders, camp counselors, neighbors, etc. It is only two percent of all cases involve a member of the clergy. Why is it that the Jewish news media seems to only want to bring attention to clergy abuse cases or those that involve a religious institution, when statistically these sorts of cases are only the tip of the iceberg? As a community we need to be addressing all forms of sex crimes, especially those committed against our children. We need to be reaching out to all survivors and not just those who were violated by clergy and or those connected to religious institutions.
Below is a case that involves incest in Italy. It is not uncommon for an incest survivor to continue to be abused by their offender(s) into adulthood. Many survivors don't know how to get the abuse to stop. Many incest survivors may love their offender(s) as a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. It's not so straight forward as when a case occurs outside the home.
Can you imagine the embarrassment and shame that an incest survivor faces, especially when the abuse never stops? Incest is not a crime that is always violent. The offender(s) can be very caring, loving and nurturing. Incest survivors may think that having sexual relations with a parent is normal. It's something they grew up with. Like in all cases involving sex crimes, sometimes there's confusion because the act of sex can feel good. Survivors sometimes feel that their bodies betrayed them because they can not control the fact that they had an erection or orgasm. The survivor may have grown up feeling that they were special because their offender "made love to them". If they told anyone, they would no longer be "special".
When an incest survivor grows up in a home in which there is also emotional, psychological and physical abuse it may complicate things even more -- especially when gentle glove incest is also mixed up in the equation.
When a child is being terrorized at home, they often feel that there is no one they can turn to for help. They often blame themselves for what is or has happened. It's highly unlikely that an incest survivor will turn to the non-offending parent for help, especially when the abuse involves another parent. If an incest survivor discloses their abuse to anyone, they risk so much more then the survivors who are abused outside the home. Incest survivors risk loosing their families, their home, friends, schools and any sense of stability they might feel they have.
When your an incest survivor there may not be any other victims created by your perpetrator. I've spoken to so many incest survivors over the years who wanted their story to be published in a Jewish paper, yet were told that they need to find two other victims of the same offender for the paper to publish the stories. This is a very scary policy considering the majority of those who are sexually abused occur in the home and there's a stronger likelihood that they may be the only victim by a particular perpetrator.