I would like to encourage anyone with any information to go to the police in South Africa. I would also suggest providing information to the South African Board of Jewish Education who are aware of these allegations and have reached out to some of those involved.
While no victim/survivor should feel pressured to file a police report, if it’s an option, I’d encourage each and every such person to indeed file such a report for the following main reasons:
- Based on my personal experience and in dealing with many such victims/survivors, it is extremely empowering to file a police report. It’s not always the easiest thing to do – it brings back some awful memories, often memories some may have tried to bury. But in all cases that I’ve dealt with there was an overwhelming sense of relief – a decades-long burden lifted – as well as empowerment.
- Often perpetrators have multiple victims, so evidence from multiple victims strengthens the case for everyone (besides the offender, of course).
- Often perpetrators don’t stop until they are stopped. Typically a paedophile will have dozens of victims. I understand that in at least one of the cases, the alleged perpetrator is currently a school principal (it’s common for perpetrators to put themselves in a position where they have easy access to children). So immediate action may need to be taken to ensure the safety of today’s children.
I would still encourage all victims/survivors to file a police report even if they don’t necessarily intend to pursue the matter any further. This will also assist with the case. Of course anyone else (i.e. not a victim/survivor) who has any relevant information must go to the police to offer this information.
Finally, if you were impacted by the abuse in any way (especially as a victim/survivor), please contact an appropriate support service in your area.
If necessary, please contact me and I will endeavour to assist in any way that I can.