April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Honoring Ava Miedzinski
Ava Miedzinski's Story - A Jewish Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Speaks Out
© (2008) by Ava Miedzinski
My sharing my story with the Awareness Center helped me learn how normal I am despite what I went through, and it was a relief to learn that so much of what has plagued me for so many years (decades, actually) has a name--PTSD, a typical consequence of traumatic experiences.
Learning that I could still take my abuser to task helped, even though I have since learned that my abuser is deceased. I can put my personal story in a new place. My abuse led to my becoming sterile from an infection that disturbed the development of my inner apparatus. But I was not left without blessings. Hashem saw to it that I became a mom to a lovely baby whose mother could not raise her. Now grown and married, my daughter is the promise of a future with grandchildren.
I have begun to work to help others by working with the center to prevent abusers who are still abusing children from continuing to cause trauma and life long difficulties to others.
Being an Orthodox woman, I know how terrible it is to discover that incest and pedophilia are as prevalent in the Jewish community as in any human community. Being Jewish means learning to restrain our human impulses, to overcome the animal drives that keep us from being complete reflections of the divine image in which we were created. To discover that rabbis and leaders in the Jewish community are abusing children because they refuse to restrain their most inappropriate impulses is a shock. To have to make our community aware of such people is a shanda, but it is necessary. How else do stop these people? Sending them to Israel or to Australia or to other schools is no answer. That is a crime. It makes us accessories to that abuse, not a just and righteous people.
I beg the sane and caring of our leadership to lend their support in keeping our community safe and healthy for our children so that no such filthy laundry needing cleaning should have to be laundered in public. I ask everyone in the community to lend their all to support the Awareness Center in making our community safer for our children.