Friday, November 23, 2012

The Awareness Center: Policies Addressing Victimization and Offenders

© (2003, Revised 2006, 2012) 
The Awareness Center, Inc.

The Awareness Center has been contacted by family members and friends of some of the individuals on our sex offender's registry of alleged and convicted offenders.

To help clarify our intentions and policies regarding listing individuals' names on our site, we decided it is best to make our intentions and policies public.
The purpose of the information provided on our website is to educate our community on issues pertaining to sexual violence in Jewish communities on an international level.  The Awareness Center is a victim advocacy organization.  One of the goals of The Awareness Center is to prevent anyone else from being sexually victimized (sexually abused, sexually assaulted, clergy sexual abuse, incest) sexual misconduct, sexual harassment).
Please note, the only individuals who are listed on our site, are ones who'd had allegations made against them which were then published in reputable newspapers, have transcripts from televisions shows where the case(s) have been discussed, have police records and/or we have court documentation regarding the case, or at least two executive board members have felt we had significant information regarding.
We are well aware that unfortunately, there are many other cases in which there is NO paper trail to be found, cases that were not brought to law enforcement's attention, and where no news media group wrote an article referring to the case. Although our intention is first and foremost to help raise awareness to cases of abuse and minimize re-victimization, we cannot post names of alleged persons  without similar documentation. 
The Awareness Center encourages everyone to make hot-line report, if and when you suspect a child is at risk of harm. 
If you or a family member has been victimized, immediately go to your local emergency room. That is one resource that is usually trained in collecting the forensic evidence needed. Your emergency room is mandated by law to call the police and child protective services. 
The Awareness Center encourages individuals who have been victimized and family members to make police reports, follow through with pressing criminal charges, and to testify when requested. If you or anyone you know is being threatened or harassed by an alleged offender, or someone who represents him/her, it is critical that you notify your local police department. You may also want to contact your local rape crisis center for both counseling and legal help (especially if there is any form of witness tampering). 
Some of the common threats include prohibiting the child victim and their siblings from being allowed in any Yeshiva (Jewish School), or that rumors would be spread about them to make sure that they not find a spouse when they come of age. Unfortunately, this is a heartbreaking reality. Remember, witness tampering is also a crime that needs to be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The Awareness Center encourages offenders (emotional, physical and sexual abuse) to seek treatment and make amends with those they hurt. 
The Awareness Center adopted the following policy. 
If an alleged or convicted offender complies with all the following, our board of directors will meet to discuss removing the name from our page:

  1. After the offender or alleged offender can demonstrate that he/she has apologized directly to the victim(s), and the survivors feel that the apology was sincere.

  2. After the offender has made a public statement acknowledging his/her relevant behavior.

  3. After the offender has entered treatment with a licensed psychotherapist who meets our criteria of someone specializing in sex offender treatment, and can present a certified letter from this therapist stating that "the individual is no longer a threat to those he or she preyed upon.

  4. After the offender has paid restitution to the survivor(s) for the pain and suffering they have endured and also pays for counseling for his/her victim(s).

  5. The offender agrees to sign a written statement stating they will not work (paid or volunteer) for any agency, organization or institution that has any connections with children, or what ever population the offender has victimize.

If an individual listed on The Awareness Center's web page believes they have been falsely accused and wishes to be removed from The Awareness Center's web page:
  1. The alleged offender will need to be evaluated by a licensed mental health provider (at their own expense) who meets our criteria of someone who specializing in sex offender treatment.
  2. The alleged offender will need to sign a release of information form so that the licensed mental health professional can discuss the case with us.  
  3. The licensed mental health professional will need to send us a certified letter stating "the individual does not fit the criteria of someone who is a sex offender or fits the criteria of an individual with a sex addiction".  

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