Posts Tagged ‘predator’

Child Victimization: First By The Pedophile, Then By The Law

In Crime in Israel on October 13, 2010 at 00:14


What is the opposite of a “victimless crime”? Perhaps a crime in which the victim is victimized first by the criminal and then by the System.

That is what happens 50% of the time in cases of sexual assault of children at least the way the law is currently written in Israel.

Apparently, the current law does not allow the testimony of children, brought to the court by  investigators specially-trained to work with child victims, to be the sole evidence on the basis of which a criminal case can proceed.

Let me translate that into reality for you. A child with the courage to report having suffered a terrible violation goes to the police. The police investigate. In the pursuit of protection and, perhaps, justice, the child tells his/her horrendous story. No other witnesses? The case gets thrown out for lack of evidence. A pedophile walks free.

I know that the wheels of justice turn slowly. I know that our country is scrambling to come to terms with the dark side of being a truly modern Western Democracy. I know that lawmakers are working to patch this hole in the fabric of our justice system.

Now explain that to a child…


50% Of Rape Cases Are Closed For Lack Of Evidence

Oct. 12, 2010


Liat HaLevi

260 sex crime cases were closed with no criminal record

Knesset Member and Chairman of the Child Rights Committee Danny Danon: “Every day dozens of sex offenders who harm children are freed. We must change the law to enable criminals to be convicted”

38% of sex offenses closed between 2002 and 2009 were closed due to insufficient evidence. 50% of rape cases closed were closed for the same reason.

This data is part of a Knesset Research and Information Center document prepared for the Committee on the Rights of the Child for a discussion to be held today (Tuesday, 12:10:10) regarding the authorities’ handling of reports of sexual offenses against children and youth.

Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon responded: “Every day dozens of sex offenders who harm children are freed. The system is unable to convict these pedophiles, so we must change the law to enable the conviction of these criminals without causing additional harm to the children.”

Danon explained that the most problematic point is that the testimony of child investigators and the documentation of the investigation can not be accepted as the sole evidence for convicting the accused.

Unreported Crimes

A survey conducted by the Carob Institute a year ago, showed that only 55% of those who observed parents violating children reported it to the authorities. Those who did not report, noted that they did not do so due to embarrassment and fear, or not knowing to whom to turn. About a quarter of respondents claimed that they would not know to whom to turn in the case of a violation against a child.

A survey conducted by the Institute in April 2010 also found confusion among respondents regarding in which cases there is a duty to report, regarding the possibility of a false accusation lawsuit being filed against the person who reported and as to whether one can file a report anonymously.

According to Dr. Hanita Cimeren, President of the Association for the Protection of Children, “When an investigation file is closed or the attacker is exonerated, the victim is forced to experience another wave of injury that now includes frustration against the system and a blow to his or her basic confidence in its ability to protect the victim. Therefore, the findings of this study are very serious, that 260 cases  opened in 2009 for sex offenses by youth were closed on the condition of psychological treatment. Since these procedures are closed without producing a criminal record for the suspects, they are referred to the youth probation service. “



Same Facts, Different Story

In self-defense on March 5, 2010 at 12:41

Editors chose a photo of a women hiding her face to illustrate a self-defense success

The pic that YNET chose to illustrate this story

A young women fighting back

This is the pic I would have chosen

God bless YNET for their ongoing coverage of local stories in both Hebrew and English. Really.

But, take one look at the picture they selected to illustrate the story below and, what do you see? A women shamed and beaten down. Read the headline and you are filled with fear and dread. Is that really what this story is about?

Very few readers will bother to read all the way through this story. If they did, perhaps they would see what I see: an incredibly brave young woman who fought like a lioness with her body, her voice and finally, her teeth for her life and her dignity. A self-defense success story in the truest sense.

The fact that there are predators in the Human Jungle should come as no surprise. What is really important, and rarely reported as such, is that there are also lions and lionesses who are ready and prepared to stand up against them and defeat them like this young woman did. She is a heroine. And yet, the news media, reflecting back society’s own prejudices, chose to illustrate her as a helpless victim and glossed over her victorious battle by choosing to emphasize that it was the presence of by-passers, not her all-out refusal to become a victim, that drove off her attacker.

And if that was not frustrating enough, how about the fact that this was a stranger attack in which the guy actually jumped out from behind the bushes?Do you have any idea how many times I have reminded  self-defense students that 82% of attackers are known to their victims, and that the chances of a stranger jumping out from behind the bushes is nil?

Well, either I can say so much for statistics… Or I can use them to say that, assuming the Lod Police ever find this guy, there is a good chance that the stranger behind the bushes isn’t so strange to his intended victim after all.

Either way, we can be sure of one thing. This guy will look like he has been in one hell of a fight…and will have the teethmarks to prove it,thanks to one courageous young woman.

Unknown Assailant Attempted To Rape a 16-year-old in Lod and Fled

Police began searching for the suspect who attacked the girl in the Ganei Yaar neighborhood. Passersby heard her screams and managed to drive him off.
Eli Senor
YNET March, 5, 2010
An attempted rape under the cover of darkness.
Last night (Thursday), an anonymous man attacked a girl of 16 in the Ganei Yaar section of Lod and tried to rape her. Passersby heard the screams and drove the suspect off. He managed to escape. Police began searching for him.
The girl came to the city police station accompanied by her father. Her blouse was soaked with blood and her body showed signs of trauma. Details of the investigation indicate that the young woman was passing through a dark path, when an unknown assailant suddenly leaped from between the bushes and attacked her. A physical struggle ensued between the two, culminating when the girl bit the suspect and began to cry out for help.
When the suspect noticed passersby, he left the girl and fled for his life. Police officers from the Lod Police Station came to the scene and conducted searched, but have failed so far to locate the man.

Predators On-Line: When Virtual Becomes Reality

In Children, Crime in Israel on February 5, 2010 at 02:22

Internet predators & pedophiles chat in Hebrew too

Parents in Israel are used to fighting for the security of their children, but the battlefield keeps shifting. Not that the days of parents warning children to stay away from suspicious packages and people wearing strange clothing that might conceal bombs.  However, a glance at the latest news or the latest edition of David Morris’s blog Tzedek-Tzedek (see below) reminds us that there are  dangers lurking in what should be the  safest places on Earth- right inside our homes.

Yes, Virginia, Internet predators and pedophiles chat in Hebrew too.

Parenting has always been hard work. It used to be that at least we could fantasize that if we locked our children in our homes and threw away the keys, they’d be safe.  Now, the Internet brings the outside world right in. We can no longer afford the illusion that we’re in control, that we can somehow keep our children and teens blissfully ignorant AND out of harm’s way.

My mother tells me that the first time she gave me permission to ride my bicycle off of our street, she stood by the window crying until she saw me riding home. By the time I came in the door, she had taken out an onion and started cutting it so I would think her tears were caused by the onion, not her fears for my safety. We all have to find our “onions”, our ways to keep from infecting our children with our fears. But we owe it to them to give them the tools they need to be as free AND as safe as possible in the world they live in— the Cyber world as well as the “real” one.

So, here’s a place to begin: some advice to share with the youngsters in your life about staying safe while chatting online

  • Be careful who you trust. Remember, no matter how long you have been in contact with them or how nice they seem, online friends are really strangers. And they may not be who they say they are.
  • Meeting in person someone you met online can be dangerous. If you feel that you ‘have to’ meet, tell your parent or caretaker and take them with you – at least the first time you meet. Meet only in a public place in daytime. And do not leave with them without informing your parent or caretaker where you are going and with whom.
  • Keep personal information personal. Your name, address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address, and picture: These are examples of personal information that can end up in the hands of people you don’t want to have it. Check your profile and remove personal information. Don’t share this information with people you meet online, even if they ask you for it. Let them know that it’s a matter of your safety. If they insist, that shows that they don’t care about you. Are these that kind of people you want as friends?
  • When in doubt, log out: Get away from an uncomfortable situation in a chat room by logging out or by changing your screen name.
  • Think twice before you answer private messages. Private chats can end up being more personal than you might want. It can be harder to end a conversation in a private chat than on a public chat. If you are on a private chat and something makes you uncomfortable, trust your intuition. If something feels wrong, something IS wrong. Log out.
  • Use a nickname, not your real name. Try to choose a nickname that is less likely to attract the type of attention you might feel uncomfortable dealing with.
  • Look out for your friends: Speak up if you think that they are at risk.
  • Tell your parent or caretaker if someone or something happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
  • Go to www.chatdanger.com to learn important online self-defense skills like how to keep/save a copy of the conversation in chat , how to block/ignore people and how to report something you feel uncomfortable about.

OK everyone! Grab those onions, go in there and help somebody you love stay safe.

How Many Kids Can One Man Abuse?

Police lifted a gag order Monday detailing the arrest of 33-year-old Avinoam Braverman, of Tel Aviv, alleged to have contacted some 1,000 minors, engaging some in virtual sex in front of web cams and of raping, sodomizing and molesting others, as well as possession and distribution of child pornography,…http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=167472
In a society which promotes loyal monogamy as being the ideal sexual relationship – one partner for each of us –  the popular assumption is that one pedophile will also approximate to one child victim.

Very few of us are aware that research has consistently shown that (and this is staggering) around one in four girls and one in six boys has been sexually abused by the age of 18. (Russell, 1986; confirmed also Gorey & Leslie 1997; Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis & Smith 1989; Brier & Elliot, 2003).
And in the sole major survey amongst Jewish orthodox women (Yehuda et al, 2007), 26% of the women surveyed reported sexual abuse, with 16% reporting the abuse occurred by the age of thirteen. In other words, sexual abuse of females is consistent with the findings for the general population. (Some have suggested that the number of male victims may be higher in the orthodox community, because access is far less restricted in orthodox communities than for males on females – but there has been no scientific survey yet on this).

This startlingly high incidence of child abuse victims, in all populations, however does not mean that this proportion of adults (between one in four, to one in six) are pedophiles.

There have been various distinctions drawn (R.Weiss, 2009) on the characteristics of pedophiles, including these categories:

  1. Dedicated or Fixated Child Offender – adults who are usually solely sexually attracted to children.
  2. Situational or Regressed Child Offender – adults whose sexual attentions wander to children, often due to extraneous pressures.
  3. Sexually Addicted Offender – exhibiting similar compulsive traits to substance or gambling addictions, some adults have increased and obsessive needs for sexual stimulation, sometimes including relationships with children.

The majority (85%) of child sex offenders are in the second category; these offenders can often be successfully treated through therapy. Sexual addiction (category 3) is a quite common psychological condition affecting between 3-5 % of the general population; very few of these people resort to non-consensual sex; treatment for this addictive behavior has been often found successful.

The most damaging pedophiles, in terms of numbers of victims, are the dedicated or fixated child offenders; they will often achieve positions of access, trust and authority over children, such as becoming sports coaches, summer camp or youth group supervisors, babysitters, clerics or educators – specifically in order to gain unfettered access to their victims. Some will even marry a partner who already has children, for this same reason. The perpetrators develop sophisticated ‘grooming’ techniques (sometimes in collusion with other pedophiles) and in practice they know that only very few children will ever register formal complaints against these perpetrators (sometimes the children do not become consciously aware that they were even abused until they reach adulthood themselves), so the numbers of their victims over a pedophile’s ‘career’ (which can continue through their senior years) can reach staggering proportions. There is little prospect of these pedophiles being ‘cured’ by available therapies, and recidivism (repeat offense) rates are high (around 75% of convicted child sex offenders).

A study by Abel et al32 of 377 nonincarcerated, non-incest-related pedophiles, whose legal situations had been resolved and who were surveyed using an anonymous self-report questionnaire, found that heterosexual pedophiles on average reported abusing 19.8 children and committing 23.2 acts, whereas homosexual pedophiles had abused 150.2 children and committed 281.7 acts

Another study (Baker) concluded that men who chose girls, generally victimized relatively few while a man who preys on non-related boys “will victimize as many as 280 male victims”.

These studies confirm law enforcement reports about the serial nature of the crime, the large number of children abused by each pedophile, and the underreporting of assaults.

What appears different from the ‘classic’ behavior patterns of pedophiles in the Braverman case is the alleged extensive use of the internet and messaging technologies, and his targeting of multiple young girls.

However, that Braverman was apparently able to readily reach so many actual and prospective victims, seemingly without multiple reports by either the child victims or their parents to the authorities – is deeply shocking, but unfortunately not unusual.

Changing The World

In Children, Sexual Assault on November 21, 2009 at 23:34

The problem with being the purveyors of a product like “self-defense” is that most people think they know what you are offering, but very few really do.  Say “self-defense”, even in Hebrew, and visions of Superman, TV wrestling, ninjas and stun guns dance in their heads. Tell them that your goal in teaching self-defense is societal change…blank stare.

So, when we go out to explain our programs, we don’t talk about “self-defense” and we don’t talk about “changing the world” . When we go out to special schools and afternoon programs for at-risk teens we talk about “violence prevention and life-skills”. When we present ourselves to social workers running programs for seniors, we talk about “self-efficacy and personal security”. When we talk to representatives in the Arab community we talk about ” helping defend the honor of the family”. WE know that the term “self-defense” or, as we sometimes refer to it “holistic self-defense” includes all of these and much, much more. But it doesn’t sell.

Today’s story from the Hebrew press is another self-defense success story… but not the kind your average person would recognize as such. It is the story of a sexual predator immersed in one of the safest places he could possibly be: a religious institution serving disabled children.

According to the report Crimes Against People With Disabilities, 2007 (U.S. Department of Justice, October 2009), based on the  National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), persons with a disability had an age-adjusted rate of rape or sexual assault that was more than twice the rate for persons without a disability.

So, plenty of victims to choose from and here we are, talking about 10-13 year-old autistic boys from religious families. How much safer could a sexual predator be?

What were the odds that one of these boys would have the courage and the ability to tell his parents what was happening to him? What were the odds that these parents would take their son’s horrible allegations seriously enough to approach the school administration and that, when they saw the administration was acting in a way that might protect their son, but would leave the perpetrator free to prey upon others, that they would go to the police? What was the chance that the police would pursue a case that boils down to the word of a few autistic boys against a teacher with no criminal record? Unbelievable!!!

The boy, his parents, the police… heroes every one of them! Why? Because…. What were the odds????

But what if we could change the odds? What if kids could stand up for themselves against adults that abuse them? What if they could tell and be believed? What if parents could report and not be shunned? What if police could pursue these criminals knowing that no one would be afraid to tell the truth?

What if sexual predators had nowhere to hide?

Holistic self-defense. It could change the world.

Suspected: A Rabbi At A Yeshiva for Autistic Boys is Suspected of Sodomy

The heads of the yeshiva, located in Ramot, were interrogated after they chose not to involve the police even though they were aware of the rabbi’s actions. The suspected was arrested after parents of  a student in the yeshiva registered a complaint with the police.

Yossi Eli 20-11-2009

ww.nrg.co.il (translated from the Hebrew)

Turmoil erupted at a yeshiva for autistic children in Ramot.  Last weekend, police arrested a rabbi and teacher at the yeshiva (30) on suspicion of engaging in a series of indecent acts and sodomy against autistic children aged 10-13 learning at the institution over a period of years. The arrest of the rabbi became possible when one of the students complained about the acts to his parents.

The issue became known to the rabbis managing the yeshiva last year when one of the children complained to his parents that the rabbi would touch him and, thus, reach sexual satisfaction. The parent turned to the rabbis, who decided not to go to the police  but, rather, to deal with the issue within the walls of the yeshiva.

The rabbis decided to remove the teacher from the yeshiva and appoint a new one. With that, the parents of the youth who garnered the strength to reveal the incident decided not to let the matter rest. They issued a complaint at the Shafat Police Station, that, then, opened an investigation. In the course of the investigation, the rabbis of the yeshiva were interrogated with the warning that they were suspected of covering-up the incident. They were released shortly thereafter.

“We are talking about reliable young men”

The teacher was arrested and brought for interrogation to the Shafat Police Station. In the course of the investigation, he denied the acts attributed to him and insisted that he had not committed sodomy but, rather, was accustomed to hugging and kissing the children in a fatherly manner. As the investigation continued, in order to check the reliability of the complaints, a psychologist was invited to the institution to speak with the youngsters.

The psychologist testified that these were trustworthy young men and that the police could rely on their testimony.

The police suspect that the teacher was involved in several additional incidents involving other autistic boys that learn at the yeshiva. They intend to interview other boys learning at that same yeshiva.

The teacher was brought to the Municipal Court in the city to extend his detention before Judge Morris Ben Atar who decided to extend his detention for four more days.

The police reported that “the suspect is a resident of one of the settlements close to Modiin Ilit, a normal man with no criminal past, married and the father of five. It is the police’s intention to recommend a indictment against the man.”

The teacher’s attorney, Arnon Eitan, reported in response that “from the beginning we determined that these were old allegations that were dealt with by the “educational institution more than a year ago. And since, the matter ended. Even the present investigation came to the same conclusion.”

Why I run

In violence prevention on November 7, 2009 at 22:41
IMPACT-Israel Staff

IMPACT-Israel Staff: We Want To Help More Women Learn To Protect Themselves From Violence

Planning meetings for our December 8-18th  “Circle of Strength’ Women’s Martial Arts & Self-Defense Events. Another IMPACT Self-Defense Class for Arabic-Speaking Teens from Jerusalem. A visit by Uri Menahem, the head of The City of Jerusalem’s Sports Department. A visit to the Maccabi Health Fund to request  support for our violence prevention programs. A pre-event visit to the gymnasium in Rishon LeZion where The City of Rishon LeZion and Israel’s major women’s organizations WIZO, NAAMAT and Emunah will hold an El HaLev-led Day of Empowerment in honor of the International Day of  Struggle Against Violence Against Women. A partnership meeting in the Bedouin city of Rahat with Sabha Abu Janem, the founder and chairperson of The Rahat Women’s Association. A Brown and Black-Belt event at a shooting range and climbing wall. A massive practice and breakfast meeting for all members of IMPACT-Israel’s training staff.

These were the essence of a frenetic, fulfilling and exhausting week. Thank God for weekends and the chance to regroup, rest and reflect.

Weekend over, I sat down at my computer to attend to all the emails I received while running from meeting to meeting last week. One of those emails contained a link to an article written by my IMPACT colleague in Boston, Meg Stone. A gem.

There is a Jewish wisdom tale that says that every person should carry one slip of paper in each pocket. In one pocket, the paper should say “I am only dust and ashes”. In the other: “The world was created for me”. Thus, we are meant to maintain the fragile balance between our humility and our self-confidence.

So, this coming week, as  I run from one end of the country to the other explaining why what we do at El HaLev is so important, I think I will put Meg’s article on one pocket, to remind me of the Big Picture: what it means to scream from the rafters that we must intervene in the growing crisis of violence.  In the other pocket, I will put the following news item about a pedophile and his five young victims. The meetings with Big Names, leaders and key organizations are, in the end, all about these five children and thousands like them. I will never know their names, but I know their eyes. I have seen them in so many victims of violence: eyes filled with anger, regret and sorrow. Eyes that light up with the fire of courage and determination as they learn that they can fight back.

Meg, thank you for your wonderful article. And to the children from Petach Tikva and their families, I dedicate this week  to you.

What if we did as much to prevent rape as we do to prevent H1N1?

by Meg Stone, November 3, 2009 – 8:05pm

I spent most of this past spring and summer rolling my eyes every time I heard a news story about the swine flu. Almost every day local reporters got hysterical about 5 or 10 or 20 confirmed cases. Entire schools closed in response to a handful of kids with fevers, and as if there were no war in Afghanistan, no economic crisis, and no other epidemics claiming ten times as many lives, newscasters talked about H1N1 (the proper name for swine flu) for hours.

I have a degree in public health and my work focuses on preventing rape and other acts of violence and supporting survivors in healing from abuse. When I see all the attention swine flu is getting, I’m jealous. Other than intermittent news stories about sex offenders on the loose or why women who accuse professional athletes of rape are lying, sexual violence rarely gets any widespread coverage. Certainly no state of emergency declared by the President of the United States.

Now, I don’t want to diminish the grief of those who have lost loved ones to H1N1. I don’t even want to question the scientific validity of the Center for Disease Control’s decision to declare it a pandemic. But the fact remains that the impact of H1N1 is far less than that of other public health crises that receive a fraction of the attention and resources. The CDC reported just over 43,000 cases of H1N1 between April and July of this year and estimates that it will affect a million people, or 0.3% of the total population of the United States. Compare this to the 2.5% of women and 0.9% of men who reported being raped or sexually assaulted in the past year. The most recent statistics about rape available from the CDC are from last year. Swine flu? Last week.

What would our media, our public discourse, and our institutional responses look like if people cared as much about rape as they do about H1N1?

I imagine the federal government urging colleges to stop the epidemic of rape by developing protocols for quarantining students who have tried to use drugs or alcohol to incapacitate women who would otherwise not consent to sex. Or university officials directing students to stay off campus or out of public areas until they are free of the belief that they are entitled to sex any time they want for a full 24 hours. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

I dream of public health departments so inundated with the demand for educational programs that teach kids about healthy relationships that they can’t keep up. Of public outrage that there are not enough doses of self-defense training to inoculate everyone against rape, and of medical experts having to go on television to reassure people that more of these self-defense vaccines are on the way.

Then I wake up to a phone conversation with a principal who tells me there is no dating violence in his school and another with a teacher who desperately wants to offer rape prevention resources to her high school classes but can’t because the entire budget for health education in her district was cut. So much for the dream.

But if I stop resenting H1N1 for getting so much attention for a moment, I realize that what I’m complaining about is actually public health at is best. It is probably true that the coordination of government urgency, media attention, medical system mobilization, and common sense precautions will succeed in thwarting a pandemic. We will probably not look back at 2009 and say it was the beginning of a swine flu crisis that devastated a generation.

What feels like hysteria or over-emphasis is actually the way prevention is supposed to look. It is supposed to be widespread and coordinated. Messages about the importance and seriousness of the public health threat are supposed to be so pervasive that they are almost impossible to ignore. I’m so used to caring about public health crises that don’t get the attention and resources they deserve that I almost can’t recognize what the public health system looks like when it does work.

This kind of focused attention is my wildest dream for our society’s response to HIV, rape, domestic violence, drug addiction, racial health disparities, cancer-causing corporate pollution, food system injustice and every other area of public health that is marginalized.

So why is the public health infrastructure working so well? Because it’s not being undermined by shame, stigma, and denial (you know, the way rape and sexual assault are). Even in the highest drama evening news stories there is almost a complete absence of victim blaming. Personal choices and individual behaviors spread the flu, but our government, our health workers, and our media understand that this crisis is too serious to waste time arguing over whether people who don’t wash their hands or share cubicles with co-workers who fail to stay home from work the recommended 4 to 7 days deserve what they get.

It would be unthinkable for a person to avoid seeking treatment for swine flu because s/he’s afraid that if s/he tells her/his doctor s/he’ll be blamed for touching her/his eyes and nose or lose her/his housing because no parents want to raise their children in a neighborhood where people don’t sneeze into their elbows

As if invoking the finale of High School Musical, when it comes to H1N1, we’re all in this together. Swine flu is not concentrated in any population that people already hate or devalue, so raging debates about whose immoral lifestyle caused it don’t get in the way of an effective public health response. (Even Fox News is posting stories that are sympathetic to people whose jobs don’t have paid sick leave and the hardship they face in missing work as the authorities direct.) Wouldn’t it be nice if other health crises were treated the same way?

In watching the rapid mobilization against this virus I know that the public health infrastructure works when our government, our media, and our medical leaders are motivated to mobilize it. H1N1 is not getting any attention it shouldn’t – it’s getting the attention all public health crises should.

23-year old suspected of raping 5 children

Police say suspect’s DNA matches that found on kids who were grabbed from entrance to homes, threatened, and sexually abused
Raanan Ben-Zur

Police arrested Tuesday a 23-year old man from Petah Tikvah who is suspected of sexually abusing at least five children between the ages of 8-11.

He was arrested following a successful matching of DNA. During questioning he told the interrogating officers that “if I did it, I must be sick”.

During recent weeks Petah Tikvah Police received five complaints from children who claimed to have been sexually assaulted. All of the children described a man who waited for them in the dark at the entrance to their homes, grabbed them, threatened them, and then sexually abused them.

Police gathered descriptions of the attacker as well as DNA samples, but no matches were found in the police database. Officers launched an investigation and the man, who has no police record, was arrested and his DNA found matching to that found on the victims.

The young man has not confessed to the allegations but told officers, “I was high. I don’t remember. If I did such things it means I’m sick and if I’m sick I need treatment.” Police are currently checking whether the suspect has been involved in any similar cases. He is scheduled to be brought before a court later for the remand of his arrest.

The suspect allegedly threatened the children’s families and told them his actions were retaliation for what their fathers did to him when he was young, a claim that the investigation has revealed as false.

The Forest For The Trees

In Crime in Israel on October 30, 2009 at 15:47

'Attempted' Rape'--- Another Name For Victory?

I don’t get it.

Here’s this great story (I translated it for you below) about a woman who fought back against a violent sexual predator . She actually managed, not only to survive, but to prevent herself from being raped. So what is the news story about? The turd that tried to rape her.

Sure. He’s a total jerk and the judges should throw “the book” at him. (Don’t get me started on the pathetically short jail sentences for sex crimes in this country…)

However, with all due respect to the reporter, the real story is the unsung 27 year-old mom who kept her wits about her. Now, SHE could teach us a thing or two about what real-life self-defense against these kind of predators is all about.

Like other professionals, those of us who spend significant time learning and teaching martial arts and self-defense, are sometimes guilty of missing the forest for the trees. We have such a great time working out together, playing with new ideas and debating about which techniques are the best for “this situation” or “that situation”, we forget that, while not visually impressive or demanding, simple and obvious solutions are often what work best.

As my friend and IMPACT mentor, Martha Thompson of Chicago IMPACT posted this week: “I think the important message from Pauline Bart and Patricia O’Brien, (in the study) Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies has been confirmed by follow-up research by Sarah Ullman, Jocelyn Hollander, and others: if attacked, respond immediately, yell, and use multiple strategies. ”

Martha also shared  a systematic  but unpublished follow-up study collected in the early 1980s from 50 graduates of a full-contact self-defense training program, the predecessor of today’s IMPACT, who were attacked after they had received training. According to this data:

  • 56% knocked-out or disabled their attacker
  • 34% escaped from their attacker or he ran away
  • 6% lost property
  • 4% chose to submit because they felt it was the safest choice

The majority  used only one technique before the attacker was knocked-out, disabled, ran away or the woman escaped,  most commonly, a simple palm heel strike to the nose or  knee to the groin.

Martha concluded: “In other words, the specific techniques are most likely less important than dealing with the situation immediately, using one’s voice, and using the tools one has until the attack stops.”

All of which brings us back to our story. This woman fought. She yelled. She reasoned with her attacker. The fact that the indictment  claims that her saying “I’m pregnant” was the straw that broke the back of this assault, does not in any way prove that her determined, indefatigable resistance up until that point was not the real underlying reason for her victory. In fact, the research mentioned above tends to support the premise that it was her swift and multi-pronged strategy that won the day.

Though the horrific and prolific stories of violent crimes obscure the fact that successful  self-defense and violence prevention are common , if you make the effort to look for them,  you will find them. I, myself, have made a fetish of it, combing the Internet for new stories to add to my Self-Defense Success Stories collection.Those stories remind me that there are plenty of us out there who manage to fight back and survive using presence of mind, animal instinct and a swift strike to a sensitive region.

So, inspire yourself. Get started looking for YOUR favorite stories. And please share them. As Clint Eastwood would say: “Go ahead. Make my day.”

Indictment: He Attempted to Rape A Woman In Front Of Her Toddler Daughter.

Gilad Grossman, Walla! News Editor

Monday, September 7, 2009 12:26

Chaim Dohan of Tel-Aviv was indicted for, two weeks ago, following a woman in the center of the city, helping her carry her two year-old daughter’s stroller and, then, assaulting her and attempting to rape her. The complainant fought back against Dohan, attempted to call for help and claimed that she was pregnant.

An indictment was handed down today (Monday) in the Tel-Aviv Regional Court against 33 year-old Chaim Dohan from Tel-Aviv, for Attempted Rape, Indecent Assault and Unlawful Imprisonment.

The indictment alleges that, two weeks ago, Dohan went to a city supermarket where he noticed a 27 year-old woman shopping with her two year-old daughter. Afterward, Dohan followed the woman, helped her carry her child’s stroller to her apartment, and, once there, attacked her, threatened to injure her and attempted to rape her.

The indictment also alleges that the accused Dohan covered the woman’s nose and mouth to prevent her from screaming, pushed her into the apartment and, did all this, against her will.

The complainant fought with Dohan, tried to yell for help and claimed that she was pregnant. As a result of the accused’s actions, the complainant suffered an injury next to her eye.

As a result of the woman’s claims to be pregnant, Dohan decided not to continue and carry out his plans.

The day after the incident, Dohan threw away the shirt he had worn during the attempted rape so it would not be possible to tie him to the incident. The indictment also claims that Dohan turned to one of his friends to ask him to provide him with an alibi, in case the police succeeded in tying him to the event.

Similarly, it alleges that, over the last year, Dohan stalked three women in Bnei Brak and in Ramat Gan in order to access his ability to commit sexual crimes against them.

Everyday Heroes: Mom Stands Up For Disabled Daughter

In Children, Crime in Israel, Sexual Assault on August 6, 2009 at 12:54

I wish I could tell you that this incident, a family friend sexually assualting an 11 year old girl with neurological problems,  is unusual. It’s not. Not in the Western world. Not in the Eastern world. Not anywhere.

A study conducted in 2000 found that 17% of women with disabilities reported that they had experienced  rape or sexual and / or physical assault as opposed to 9% of women without disabilities. According to a 1998 report, 16% of children at-risk (a total of about 330,000) suffered from abuse or neglect. The greatest number of these were children from poor or out-of-work families and children with disabilities, especially cognitive or behavioral disabilities.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are special parents like the one in this story who hear the most horrendous stories from their children and find within themselves the courage to believe and support them.

Look at the web of lies this criminal spun around this child. How he won the trust of her family and tried to use her cognitive difficulties against her. And look how this family worked together to stop the abuse and restore a sense of self-respect and trust to this girl.

V. and family, we salute you. May you continue to see the fruits of your courage in the face of deception.

Mom Rescues Disabled Daughter From Sexual Predator

Mom Rescues Disabled Daughter From Sexual Predator

The mother of the 11 year-old girl who reported that she had been raped by a family friend said that it was unbelievable that this ‘nice grandfatherly figure’ did such terrible things to her. “I trusted him”

Zohar Sosanko Aug. 8, 2009

V., the mother of the 11 year-old girl allegedly raped by Charl Sitbon, a 69 year-old resident of Netanya and family friend, reported in a conversation with Maariv/NRG how her daughter described to her the terrible things done to her by  the “nice grandfatherly figure” they knew.

According to the mother, her daughter told her about the terrible things Sitbon had done to her only after a cousin of the mother convinced the girl to do so.

“I was in shock,” The mother described her reaction after hearing what her daughter had to say. “She told me things and described things that a little girl could not possibly know without having experienced them.”

The mother said” “Since then, I haven’t slept. I imagine what happened and it’s hard for me to breathe. Each time, he told her: ‘Don’t forget that it is our secret. If your mother finds out, I will get in trouble and so will you.’ I explained to her that it was not her fault.” The suspect was transporting the girl to and from medical treatments.

Five years ago, a month after V. moved to Israel from France, her daughter was in a serious accident; she was hit by a car while crossing the street. As a result, the girl was hospitalized unconscious for three weeks. Since then, she has required regular treatments for neurological problems.

The mother said that two years ago, she met Sitbon at an event arranged by the municipality in honor of immigrants from France.

“He helped me. He drove us to my daughter’s treatments,” she said. “Sometimes, he took my daughter shopping so she could get out of the house a little and did not always have to be with me. Then he did these things to her.”

She added that he was practically the only person she could rely upon in Israel. He was 69 and my daughters looked upon him as a ‘grandfather’. I wasn’t worried because he was married with children and grandchildren. I never thought about things like this.”

Immediately after her daughter told her what happened V. called the suspect and asked him to come over. “I told him that I needed to speak with him,” she described. “I asked him what he did to my daughter. He replied that something was wrong with her, that she was a liar, and then he left. We went immediately to the police .

The mother added that, according to the girl, the suspect had committed a series of indecent assaults over the course of the last year and always warned her not to tell. Nonetheless, the mother points out that she sees in retrospect that it was becoming increasingly difficult for her daughter to be around Sitbon.

“When he would come, she would say: ‘If that is Charl, I do not want to see him. He annoys me.’ Still, I never believed that it was something like this.

She noted that one time her daughter told her that she had slapped the suspect. When she asked the child why she had hit him, she responded: “Just because.” The mother even asked Sitbon, who responded, “She is abnormal.”

After Sitbon’s arrest ,the mother said that she started to see positive changes in the child’s behavior. “We see that since she told her entire story,  she feels better.  She has taken a great weight off of her shoulders.

The mother explained that her daughter is afraid she made a mistake. “I told her she is not responsible for what happened, she added. “He did ‘not-nice’ things to you and you had to tell so he can be punished for what he did.” She said that she never wants to see him again.

In conclusion, the mother said: “I want to tell mothers to be careful with their children and with people like this, in particular single mothers.”

Amen to that.