Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WARNING: Ohel's Support Group for Frum Survivors

The Awareness Center was made aware of a support group for frum woman who are victim/survivors of sexual abuse in Manhattan that is scheduled to begin on today (October 13, 2009).  Unfortunately The Awareness Center does not support this group.  One of the issues is that the group is under the direction of David Pelcovitz, who is a strong supporter David Mandel, CEO of Ohel.  

Over the years The Awareness Center has received countless complaints regarding this dynamic duo (Pelcovitz and Mandel).  Out of respect of those who complained, The Awareness Center is sending out this warning in hopes that no one else will be psychologically harmed by individuals who self proclaim themselves to be experts in the sexual trauma field.  The complaints were made by both survivors and parents of survivors who at one time utilized their services.  

Back in Sept. 2008 David Pelcovitz and David Mandel spoke at an event put together by the Vaad of Baltimore.  During this event David Pelcovitz is seen alluding to David Mandel as an expert in cases of child abuse/neglect.  Mandel does not have a degree or license in the mental health field. Mandel's education is in the business realm.  Mandel also does not believe in making hotline reports.  Instead he's a supporter the rabbonim of the ultra orthodox world, who believe these cases should be handled quietly and internally, often placing the blame on the victims in hopes of allowing the sex offenders to continue earning a living for their families.

The Awareness Center has no information regarding Ellen Labinsky, PhD nor Bronya Shaffer on their experience in the field.  They are unknown  to our organization.

There are several other support groups for women in New York. Including those conducted by agencies connected to the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.  These agencies will do their best to be sensitive to the needs of frum survivors.

No comments: