The Survivors Teach Us Hope

A woman named Genendy discovers that she was brutally and repeatedly raped by her own father and dissociated to survive. This is a common symptom of CSA.

Genendy stays religious. She gets married and has kids and raises them in faith. She goes on to reach out to her family to make peace, reach out to the Jewish community to stop sexual abuse, write a blog, write a book, and appear in multiple documentaries on the subject. She helps a detective investigating her father for alleged sexual abuse.

Eventually, with the help of Jewish Community Watch Shana Aaronson and Meyer Seewald, she connects with another alleged victim of her father.

There is something about Genendy’s heartbreak and strength that moves me beyond words. She stands there at her son’s Bar Mitzvah hoping that her family will walk through the door. They do not. Her husband watches quietly and supportively as she calls her sister begging to reconnect. Her sister hangs up on her. The family marshals everyone they can find to call her crazy. It did not happen, they say. We were there, you made it up.

You can read her book “The Price of Truth” and then tell me if you think she made it up. It’s all there and much worse–but nothing gets in the way of her hope and faith.

Here is her blog.

Then there is Ornit. She finds out that an evil rabbi has been sexually assaulting her sons — not one, not two, but three of them. The entire community turns against their family, shunning them, accusing them of being “informants,” of making a mountain out of a molehill, of outright lying. Ahron Shlomo Lyson is eventually sentenced to 7 years in jail. ( Ornit goes on to law school.

There are heroes in this story–the survivors, their husbands, their rabbis, the principals at their schools, and of course Jewish Community Watch. But the truth is, the weight of corruption easily bears down on the average person and crushes them.

One story I heard, some time ago, concerned a family in a certain Jewish community that reported their child’s molestation to the school. And then they found their house had been burned to the ground.

I am not the expert in how to fix this, but I do know that continually educating ourselves about the problem will create a positive result.

The movie is worth your time.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.