Miami News Times - July 20, 2006
Don't investigate yourself, rabbi: Regarding Forrest Norman's "Yeshiva Dustup" (July 13): It's important to remember that clergy abuse has nothing to do with religion, even though you will find it in all of them (Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, Bahai, et cetera). Sex crimes are about an abuse of power and the need to control others.
Unfortunately it's common for child molesters to choose careers or volunteer time for organizations and/or institutions in which they have ample access to the types of victims they prey upon. One of the biggest problems we face is that instead of allowing law enforcement to conduct criminal investigations, institutions attempt to handle things on their own. When this happens, we end up in situations like the one we are seeing in the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah.
Just as we say, "It takes a village to raise a child," we can say the same thing about sex offenders. When an individual suspects a child is at risk of harm, we all must become mandated reporters. Let those with the education, experience, and training collect the physical evidence and do the forensic interviewing. This is not the job for our clergy.
The Awareness Center, Inc.