Jewfem Blog

On sexual abuse by rabbis

By Amanda Borschel-Dan in Times of Israel:

Author Elana Sztokman, the former head of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, published op-eds railing against widespread belittling of Freundel’s abuse as “just voyeurism” during his sentencing.

‘The rabbi is saying, “I own you, I am consuming you with my eyes”‘

“When we think about clergy acting out sexual abuse, we’re looking at a pattern of men… who need to assert their power over others, be more powerful, use their subjects, our kids, as objects in their sort of need to assert power,” she said in a conversation from her Israel home this week.

“Voyeurism is a huge emotional violation, but sometimes we don’t have the language to talk about it. There is no violence, no touch, but really the essence of sexual abuse is the ultimate manipulation of power and control. The rabbi is saying, ‘I own you, I am consuming you with my eyes,'” said Sztokman.


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