Tuesday, May 20, 2014

About The Awareness Center

The Awareness Center Was Dedicated to Ending Sexual Violence 
in Jewish Communities Internationally

The Awareness Center operated for fifteen years (April 30, 1999 - April 30, 2014).  The information on this site is being provide for historical purposes only.

The history of the Jewish people is one filled with a series of traumatic experiences:
This includes one topic that up until now has been taboo to discuss:  Sexual Violence (Incest, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Professional Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment).

Contrary to what we might want to assume, sexual violence is not just a Gentile issue, but also a Jewish one.

Discussing the issue of sexual violence in Jewish communities seems to threaten the cultural perception of the wholesomeness of the Jewish family. However, the time has come to break the taboo and allow the Jewish Community to face reality and begin the healing journey. When referring to the Jewish Community we are including everyone: from the unaffiliated, Renewal, Reform, Reconstructionist, Traditional, and Conservative communities, to the Orthodox, “Charedi” and “Chasidic" communities.

The concept of The Awareness Center began in 1999 . We were incorporated in the state of Maryland as a nonprofit organization in 2003. We are dedicated to providing education, information, resources and advocacy to survivors of sexual violence, family members of survivors and sex offenders, religious leaders rabbis, and our communities globally.

The Awareness Center believes survivors of sexual violence should be given yellow ribbons to wear proudly.

Survivors of sexual violence (as adults and/or as a child) are just as deserving of a yellow ribbon as the men and women of our armed forces, who have been held captive as hostages or prisoners of war.

Survivors of sexual violence have been forced to learn how to survive, being held captive not by foreigners, but mostly by their own family members, teachers, camp counselors, coaches babysitters, rabbis, cantors or other trusted authority figures.  For these reasons ALL survivors of sexual violence should be seen as heroes!

Clearinghouse: Resources & Information
Offering information and other resources on the topic of sexual violence in Jewish communities.
Speakers Bureau

Educational training programs on the topic of sexual violence to community groups, rabbis, teachers, parents, and survivor groups.

Development of Annual International Summit/Conference 
Providing a forum for dialogue, education and healing between medical, mental health and legal professionals; religious leaders, teachers, parents and survivors.

Certification Program for Rabbis and other Jewish Community Leaders

  • Research shows that one out of every three to five women, and one out of ever five to seven men are sexually abused by the time they reach their eighteenth birthday.
  • Every two minutes a woman is raped (NCVS 2002).
  • One in every eight rape victims were males (NCVS 2002).
  • The most vulnerable age for a male child to be sexually abused/assaulted is age  4 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000).
  • Approximately 60% of boys and 80% of girls who are sexually victimized are abused by someone known to the child or the child's family (Lieb,Quinsey, and Berliner, 1998).
  • It is estimated that children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more vulnerable to sexual abuse than their non-disabled peers  (NRC, 1992).
  • One in 33 youth received an aggressive sexual solicitation in the past year. This means a predator asked a young person to meet somewhere, called a young person on the phone, and/or sent the young person correspondence, money, or gifts through the U.S. Postal Service (USDOJ, 2001).
  • Approximately 95% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused  (CCPCA, 1992).
Sex Offenders Statistics:
  • The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of whom do not report the offense (National Institute of Mental Health, 1988).
  • About 60% of male survivors sampled, report at least one of their perpetrators to be female (Mendel, 1993).
  • About 95% of victims know their perpetrators (CCPCA, 1992).
  • Over a 25-year period, child molesters had a higher rate of re-offense than rapists:   52% versus 39%.  (Prentky, Lee, Knight, and Cerce).

No comments: