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Posts Tagged ‘violence prevention’

Terror, Criminal and National, Strike in the Heart of the Country

In Crime in Israel on December 25, 2010 at 22:52

Knife used by terrorist in a recent attempted stabbing

The terrorist stabbing  incident in a national park that left Kay Wilson of Givat Ze’ev badly wounded and took the life of her American friend Kristine Luken (see below) has the entire country up in arms.

Understandably. Meanwhile, deaths by stabbing have become a weekly if not more frequent event in our little corner of the world.

When will the citizens of this country be just as outraged  and prepared to step forward to stop criminals from killing and maiming as they are to stop terrorists?

Meanwhile a national prosecutor strike is throwing a wrench into our already overworked and under-achieving criminal justice system. Even accused terrorists, murderers and pedophile Oren Korido have been released to house arrest because prosecutors are refusing to try cases until their strike is settled.

Don’t we have enough challenges to deal with already? Let’s hope the prosecutors and their bosses will hurry up and come to terms— before anyone falls victim to the criminals flowing out the justice system’s revolving door.

Police: Stabbing was probably a terror attack

By MELANIE LIDMAN
19/12/2010

“We are still looking at all directions, continuing the investigation,” says police spokesman, after US woman found dead near J’lem.

Saturday’s stabbing and murder of two young women in a forest near Beit Shemesh were probably a terrorist attack, police said on Sunday.

The police investigation is still under way into the attack that wounded Givat Ze’ev resident Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and killed her American friend Kristine Luken, as they were hiking in the wooded hills west of the capital.

“We are still looking at all directions, still continuing the investigation, and questioning people who may have seen them,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “The main direction is that this was a nationalistic attack, though we haven’t ruled out the possibilities of a criminal incident.

“There have been no claims [of responsibility] by [terrorist] organizations,” Rosenfeld noted, however.

The body of Luken, a US citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata, approximately 400 meters from the road between Mata and Beit Shemesh, police said. Her body was discovered around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Wilson, a tour guide who worked part-time for Shoresh Tours, a Christian tour company, was stabbed and seriously wounded and handcuffed, but managed to drag herself to the road. There she saw two families, who called the police.

After she gave a brief account of the incident, Magen David Adom evacuated her to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

On Sunday, police investigators interviewed Wilson in her hospital bed for several hours.

Her condition was improving and she was expected to leave the hospital in two to three days, a Hadassah spokesman said.

“[Wilson] had her hands bound, and she was stabbed pretty bad in the upper part of her body,” Rosenfeld said. “The obvious intention was to have her killed. This was not something where they were just trying to take her purse. It was a serious crime scene. We’re talking about two women walking around the Jerusalem Forest, we’re not even talking about Judea and Samaria.”

Wilson described her ordeal, telling reporters that her attacker removed her Star of David necklace and then stabbed her in the chest.

Wilson and Luken had been hiking in the woods when two Arab men asked Wilson for water in Hebrew, she said. After they disappeared from view, Wilson became uneasy about their intentions, and told Luken they should return to Mata.

As they walked toward the village, the attackers pounced on the women, stabbing both repeatedly.

Wilson said her attacker had used a knife with a huge blade, adding that it looked like a bread knife. Wilson managed to produce a small blade of her own that she carried for selfdefense, and stabbed her attacker once, she said.

But after being stabbed again and again, Wilson fell to the ground and played dead, waiting for the men to leave. She provided harrowing descriptions of hearing her friend struggle for breath before dying on the ground beside her.

After a few minutes, Wilson found that she was able to stand up, and walked toward Mata. She saw a passing car but was unable to shout due to as she was having difficulty breathing.

She then found the two families sitting in a park, and turned around to show them that her hands had been bound. The family alerted police.

Several hundred people searched for Luken overnight Saturday, including units with rescue dogs, combat soldiers, police helicopters, mounted police, and several hundred other police officers.

After Luken’s body was found, police remained at the scene for three hours, combing the area for information.

The security level had not been raised in the Jerusalem area as of Sunday, though police were coordinating with security in the villages around Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh to be extra vigilant.

Rosenfeld said the police were waiting for “concrete answers” before updating security procedures.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

Man aged 20 stabbed to death in TA brawl

By YAAKOV KATZ

17/12/2010

4 arrested on suspicion of involvement in argument which lead to attack; Lawrence Amsis found laying on sidewalk bleeding profusely.

Four youths were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of being linked to the fatal stabbing of 20-year-old Lawrence Amsis early on Friday morning outside the Terminal nightclub in Tel Aviv.

Police say Amsis was set upon by a group of suspects on Rehov Hatzfira near the club following a verbal altercation in the nightclub, situated in Tel Aviv’s Yad Harutzim area, the scene of lethal violence in the past.

During the fight, one of the suspects produced a knife and stabbed Amsis, police said. He was rushed to the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, but died of his injuries within a few hours on Friday morning.

Soon after his death, police arrested two suspects aged 20 from Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion on suspicion of being linked to the incident.

On Friday morning the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court extended the suspects’ custody by three days.

The suspects hid their faces beneath their clothes during their arraignment to avoid photographers.

Two additional suspects, aged 18 and 22, both from Holon, were arrested on Saturday evening in connection with the stabbing.

“The background to the mass brawl that broke out in the club, and continued outside it, is still unclear,” Tel Aviv police said in a statement.

Police have shut down the Terminal nightclub for 30 days.

Relatives of Amsis said he worked in plumbing and had been saving money for higher education.

Friends at the Christian Scout youth movement where he was active have expressed shock at his violent death.

The homicide investigation is being led by detectives from the Yiftah police station.

15-year-old dies after stabbing in Beersheba

By JPOST.COM STAFF and YAAKOV LAPPIN

09/25/2010

Police believe stabbing outside absorbtion center followed argument with youths; MDA crews arrive after youth found by passer-by.

A 15-year-old teenage boy died of stab wounds in Beersheva on Friday night after being involved in a fight with other youths near an absorption center, police said.

The youth, a resident of Kiryat Arba, was found in a mortally wounded state by a passer-by and was rushed by paramedics to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, but died of his injuries soon after arrival.

Police launched an investigation, and arrested four suspects on Saturday – three minors and an adult – on suspicion of being involved in fight which led to the youth’s death.

The suspects have denied any involvement. They were questioned at Beersheva police station.

Police suspect a fight broke out between two groups of youths during which the teenager was repeatedly stabbed.

The investigation continues.

Why The IDF Must Fight Sexual Harassment

In Sexual Harrassment on June 16, 2010 at 00:52

The Two-Front War----Sexual Harassment in the IDF

OK. We Israelis are used to being harrassed by pretty much every nation in the world.  We’re even used to our Army, one of the most upstanding and moral in the world, being trashed— even, or perhaps, especially, by leaders of nations with atrocious human rights records.

But IDF brothers-in-arms sexually harassing their sisters-in-arms? No, we must never, NEVER make peace with that.  Read the article below. Sexual harrassment complaints in the IDF are at an all-time high, but fewer than half of female soldiers who report being harrassed are willing to file formal complaints.

The fact that the number of complaints is way, way up,  is not all bad. This certainly indicates increased awareness,  but let’s not jump to the conclusion that increased incidence has nothing to do with it. With numbers like these, it almost certainly does.

Moreover, read between the lines and you will see that the way these incidents are being dealt with still leaves a lot to be desired. Female soldiers who report incidents  clearly feel they are putting themselves in harm’s way. On paper, the system encourages reporting and treats sexual harrassment as a criminal offense. But behind the scenes, the system and the female soldiers who serve it share a common agenda. Like the parents in the Bill Cosby comedy routine, they are not so much interested in justice as they are in quiet.

There is a way to get both “quiet” and “justice”. It is called PREVENTION.  And I’m not talking about scolding and lecturing male soldiers, as if scolding 18 year-old boys gets them to change their behavior. I have one at home; I know all about it. And I’m not talking about handing Tear Gas spray out to female soldiers as if it were hairspray. (Tell me, Generals, what other weapons do you have in your arsenal that you hand out to soldiers with no training and no hand-to-hand backup plan? )

Bottom Line: Why aren’t these women receiving empowerment-based self-defense training?

What makes the IDF so special is that it is us. It is a reflection of our society. Can you imagine what kind of society we could foster if we invested in the thousands of young men and women going through compulsary military service so, when they re-enter civilian life, they already know that women will not tolerate sexual harassment? That they will stand up for themselves and call the perpetrators to account for it?

Look at the statistics about working women in Israel. 50% report being sexually harassed in the workplace. 50%!!!! And do you know where most of those women were just before they entered the workforce? That’s right. They were in the military.

How many stories like those below might have turned out differently if these women learned Awareness, Avoidance, Assertiveness, Physical Defense and Recovery skills as part of their Military Service? Two-years of service and they can’t squeeze in 10-hour for a Basic Empowerment-based Self-Defense Course? Come on…

I wrote to Chairman of the Knesset Committee for the Promotion of Women’s Status  Tzipi Hotovely MK (Likud) some time ago asking for a chance to speak with her about this issue. Good thing I didn’t hold my breath waiting to hear back from her.

For her part in the proceedings, MK Hotovely said: “Unfortunately, harassment has not left the world and some men feel entitled. Maybe we should think about an alternative softer track, that will enable us to work around the psychological constraints involved in serving a complaint.”

MK Hotovely, you may be right. Perhaps a “decriminalized” procedure would help. On the other hand, how about removing some of those ‘psychological constaints’ by empowering these women BEFORE incidents occur so they can STOP them? Give them the tools they need to stand up for themselves and for each other! I would expect that you, of all of our nation’s legislators, would be on the frontlines fighting for just that.

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Major Increase in Complaints of Sexual Harassment in the IDF

A day of consciousness-raising came to the Knesset: Data presented by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, indicated that over the last two years the number of complaints rose by tens of percentage points . The Immigrant Absorption Committee heard sad stories of immigrant women: “The manager harassed me – and I was dependent on him”

Yael Bernovsky
YNET
June 8, 2010

Translated by Yours Truly

Today, the Knesset held a special day to increase awareness of sexual harassment, and all the committees held hearings on the subject. This came after yesterday’s report on Ynet revealing alarming data, according to which nearly half of working women experience sexual harassment in their workplaces. Additional data published today, indicated that the scope of the phenomenon in the IDF has risen sharply.

According to the data presented by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the Israel Defense Forces in 2009 reported 445 complaints of sexual harassment, compared to 363 in 2008 and 318 in 2007. Most of the reported incidents occurred in the bases, and most involved physical harassment. About 28 percent involved verbal harassment and 13 percent voyeurism. Three-percent of the percentage involved rape or attempted rape. Another one percent of the complaints involved consensual sexual relations.

IDF officials explained that there are two options for dealing with complaints – either an officer checks out the allegations or the Military Police are called in for a criminal investigation. Only 47 percent of female soldiers who complained in 2009 chose to contact the Military Police. Another 12 percent of female soldiers sought help within their units.

According to Brigadier General Gila Kalifi, Women’s Affairs advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, in 2009 only one false complaint of sexual harassment was discovered. However, she said that “we do not only see the need to commit ourselves to dealing with those who claim sexualharassment. We are also committed that, until proven guilty, the person against whom a complaint is made must be considered innocent.”

“We have already learned that it is important to ask the IDF, not only about military intelligence but, there are more questions to ask, about sexual assault, about suicide… Social issues,” concluded Committee Chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi. “are part of the experience of life of this organization that must undergo parliamentary supervision. Everyone goes away with the feeling that, on the one hand, there is much to praise in the system, but there is a problem. I hope it is being kept in mind by the IDF, our country’s largest organization, that there must be a greater sense of confidence and understanding that the system will protect those submitting complaints. ”

Former Defense Minister Knesset Member Amir Peretz (Labor) added that “our expectation from the IDF is they will become one of the most important models for other workplaces to emulate . Israeli society makes judgments about women who file these kind of complaints. When the this same soldier must return to the same community where she lives, there are serious concerns about this. They must proceed with caution, but they also must develop more tools that allow these matters to be dealt with without placing the woman on the frontlines of the war. Even if the soldier has chosen treatment futher down in the hierarchy, the matter must go higher up in the hierarchy in order to maximize the punishment. The Army must provide security for female soldiers, that no one in the hierarchy, no matter what his rank, has too much authority. ”

“Didn’t they teach you in Ethiopia not say “no” to a man?”

The Absorption Committee headed by MK Lia Shemtov held a discussion of sexual harassment in the workplace that included presentations by women victimized by the phenomenon.

One of them, an economist that came from Ukraine a few years ago and still learning the language, said that she managed to get work in a clothing warehouse as a folder. “I had to leave work even though it suited me. The reason: my manager’s behavior. For a period of two months, he harassed me, took advantage of his authority, because I was financially dependent on the work. He also attempted to rape me and commit indecent acts. I went to the Rape Crisis Center. I did not want people to know – and this is one of the reasons that I did not go to the police. I’m really depressed because of what happened. ”

Another woman, a 24 year-old Amharic-speaker, went to  the Rape Crisis Center to accompany a friend. She talked about things she was accustomed to living with: “I was out of work and my neighbors were looking for a babysitter. It started with words: “I’m used to white Israelis.”, ” Didn’t you learn in Ethiopia not say ‘no’ to a man?’,’Your chest is the color of mocha’.

The neighbor started to harass me, push himself against me while talking to me. After a month, I left my job. ”

Michal Rosen, the CEO of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers, mentioned that the bill for providing compensation for victims of sexual assault drafted by a interdepartmental committee last year and presented to the Welfare Department (details published in Ynet) “still lies in the hands of the Minister. Nothing has been done about it. ”

MK Marina Solodkin concluded: “the former President (Translator’s note: Former President Moshe Katsav whose trial for rape and sexual harassment is being held in extreme secrecy) was a master of sexual harassment. This procedure is very important and it will set a precedent if the judge convicts him. I am optimistic”.

A Little Bit Crazy

In self-defense on May 14, 2010 at 01:42

Thumbs up for those who are 'pro-force', if that's what it takes to stop violence

I had such a great time yesterday, it was worth every second. Well, maybe I would have skipped the particular second that I tried to stop a knife attack with my pinkie and ended up with a broken hand, but other than that…

Yesterday morning, my student and colleague, Naomi Yitzhak and I drove to Maaleh Adumim, a small city near Jerusalem, to join a group of  travelers from abroad who are here to train in IKI Krav Maga with Moshe Katz.

Moshe Katz was one of the first martial artists I met in Israel.  We have been friends and colleagues ever since. He is one of the most knowledgeable, dedicated and generous instructors I have ever met.

Like a true “artist”, Moshe starved in obscurity for many years. Then, a couple of years ago, Moshe was finally “discovered”  by members of the international martial arts community. He travels all over Europe and the United States teaching seminars. Now he has started hosting seminars here in Israel as well to give students of Krav Maga the opportunity to experience the Land and People that produced this in-your-face form of self-defense training.

The men with whom Naomi and I trained came to Israel expressly to train with Moshe—or more correctly, to Tour & Train with him: Craig Grey from Grand Rapids, MI, Tim Hillis from Cottonwood, Arizona, Fred Heins from Tilburg, Holland, Stephan Shutter from Germany, Robert Amos from Indiana and Justin and Gary, two of Robert’s students.

We worked on all kinds of knife and gun defenses including defenses inside a car based on the same simple, straight-forward and effective principles. There is something so rewarding about taking these nightmare scenarios, analyzing them and finding ways to deal with them, fusing the mind and the body to make the ‘impossible’ possible. And when you are lucky enough to do that together with people of this caliber, generous, humble and dedicated, it is a truly spiritual experience.

Those of you who read this and think, ‘this woman is crazy’ are in good company. I could intellectualize and argue that, in the world of self-defense, as the song says: “We’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy”.

But those of you who need no explanation, who identify with the high of this kind of body-mind-spirit learning and growth, painful though it may sometimes be, you probably identify, as i do, with these sentiments from the same song: “In a world full of people, only some want to fly. Isn’t that crazy?”

* * *

This  story is a keeper. It is not from Israel, but from the US . It is about five “crazy” women who prevented a murder and put the potential murderer in jail. May there be many more crazies like these both here in Israel and around the world!


Wed May 5, 2010 9:29 PM EDT

Comcast.net News

Five women stop man accused of Maine campus stabbing

BANGOR, Maine — Five female students, including one who’d recently completed a self-defense class, jumped to the aid of a fellow student, grabbing her knife-wielding attacker and holding him until police officers arrived at Husson University, officials said Wednesday.

Jesse Hladik put her new skills to work when she lunged for the hand holding a knife, while fellow students grabbed the man’s other limbs and wrestled him to the ground. Hladik, 21, of Buckfield, said she knew the pressure points to make him drop the knife, thanks to the class.

“It was really scary, but I’m glad we got involved,” said student Heather Mann, 18, of Rochester, N.H. “Because I really think he would have killed her.”

Officers responding to the report of a domestic fight at 7:40 a.m. arrived to find 45-year-old Horst Wolk of Bangor subdued on the pavement. A campus officer cuffed him, and city police hauled him away.

John Michaud, professor of legal studies, heard the commotion and saw a pile of people on the pavement, while more women stood by, ready to jump in, if necessary.

“I was very impressed by the students,” Michaud said. “How many times do you hear about people walking by incidents like this? These young ladies weren’t going to walk by this incident.” He said the young women disarmed the suspect and “had the situation well in hand.”

Wolk has been charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and violating a protection order, said Bangor Police Sgt. Paul Edwards. He remained jailed Wednesday afternoon on $25,000 bail. There was no indication whether he had an attorney.

The incident unfolded in a parking lot next to Husson’s O’Donnell Commons. Wolk, who isn’t a student, rammed the victim’s vehicle after she pulled into a parking space at 7:40 a.m., then jumped out of his vehicle with a knife in his hand, said Julie Green, Husson spokeswoman.

The injured woman, who was not identified, was treated at a local hospital and released.

Edwards said officers generally don’t want bystanders to put themselves in harm’s way.

“We would never recommend getting involved to the point where you might get hurt yourself and become a second victim. But am I proud of what they did? Of course I am. Am I glad they did it? Yeah. I’m happy because the outcome was good,” Edwards said.

Hladik said she realized the importance of self defense.

“Not that the situation is going to happen again here, but it is so much better to know what I was doing, to make a little plan in a couple of seconds before doing something because I can’t imagine being one of the girls without training and not knowing what to do,” she said.

“I think that is bravery because they had never fought … they had no idea what to do and they still stepped in.”


Her Wits & Her Cell Phone About Her

In self-defense on May 9, 2010 at 16:56

I have a love-hate relationship with my cellphone. I love having the whole world at my fingertips whenever and wherever I may be. But, I don’t like being at the whole world’s beck and call. And I’m not alone.

Our general ambivilence about our cell phones is reflected in the self-defense world. On the one hand, people who are up to no good need three things going for them before they can successfully carry out their nasty deeds: intention, ability and opportunity. For the vast majority of them, isolating their target is part of creating  opportunity. Cell phones break isolation, giving potential victims a connection to the world outside, a chance to get someone’s attention or call for help. No isolation, no opportunity, creep moves on to a more vulnerable victim.

For a wonderful example of the use of a cell phone as a tool of self-defense, see the success story below in which a 16 year-old Beersheva girl outwits her three captors by saying she has to call her mother…  A great Mother’s Day tribute.

On the other hand, you probably don’t need me to tell you that cell phones can be a real safety hazard— and not just for drivers.  According to a study of pedestrian safety at the University of Illinois published this past November, using a cell phone while walking can be hazardous to your health. Compared with people just listening to music as they crossed, users of hands-free cell phones took longer to cross the same street under the same conditions and were more likely to get run over by a vehicle.

Personally, I think the cell phone is one of the best tools of self-defense ever devised. Unfortunately, it seem that good always comes with a price tag attached. Chocolate has calories; weekends have Monday (or Sunday if you live in Israel). Your cell phone can connect you to the world, or soak up so much of your attention, you become more vulnerable becuase of it. It can be a source of increased safety or increased danger. It’s  a matter of maximizing your awareness and deciding how to use the tools you have. Which reminds me: don’t forget that striking someone straight on with a cell phone to the nose, the solar plexus or the groin can get your message across with no additional air time charges and without even calling your Mom.

Beersheba: ‘3 Arabs tried to kidnap, sexually assault girl’

By YAAKOV LAPPIN
06/05/2010

www.jpost.com

Police in Beersheba arrested three Israeli Arabs on Thursday on suspicion of attempting to kidnap and sexually assault a 16-year-old girl.

According to suspicions, the suspects noticed the girl walking and offered her a ride to her friend’s house. The girl apparently entered the vehicle, but soon learned that the suspects had no intention of letting her out unless “she agreed to their sexual demands,” police said.

The suspects allegedly confiscated the girl’s phone to prevent her from calling for assistance.

“Keeping her wits about her, the girl told her captors that she wanted to phoned her mother to let her know she would be late. The suspects gave her the phone, and the girl proceeded to immediately contact police,” Negev police added.

The suspects became alarmed by the call and in the confusion, the girl escaped from the vehicle. The suspects fled the scene in the vehicle.

Police in the meantime deployed large numbers of patrol cars to the area, and located the vehicle containing the suspects, and the girl walking along a main road.

High to Low: Living in The Gaps

In Women's Empowerment on May 6, 2010 at 00:43

Gender On The Ground & in Academics: Gaps Between Theory & Practice

It has been a trying week for those of us concerned with violence in Israel. You can catch a glimpse of some of this past week’s stories below— if you don’t mind being appalled.

On the other hand, there was this conference at Bar Ilan University: The Second Annual Conference on Gender “On the Ground” and in Academia: Gaps Between Theory and Practice”, a well-attended event put on by the “Gender On The Ground” Track of Bar Ilan’s Gender Studies Department. We were thrilled to be invited. You see, we were turned down last year and we were concerned that our snub resulted from objections raised by some feminists, many of whom work in the Rape Crisis field, to seeing self-defense as a pro-woman, anti-violence activity.

For some odd reason, I decided that I was the obvious choice to speak at this conference.  I knew it was an important occasion for which we needed a seasoned instructor, I was flattered to be asked and, besides, I live closer to Bar Ilan University than any of our other instructors.

Needless to say, I was nervous. If stage fright and potential conflict wasn’t enough, we had no idea of what to expect re: the teaching conditions, the size or make-up of the group. All I knew was that I had 45 minutes to do my magic. As I packed up my bag of tricks, not knowing which, if any , I was going to use, I kept saying to myself: “Why do I keep putting myself through this?”

Miraculously, I found the building and parking in record time. The conference organizers did an incredible job. Things ran like clockwork. The room assigned to us was perfect and in walked more than 50 bright and well-educated women from all different sectors of our society, as open-minded and positive as I could hope. No hecklers.

I introduced myself, El HaLev and our concept of “feminist”(or what I prefer to call “women-centered”) self-defense as defined by Jocelyn A. Hollander an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, in her paper “Resistance To Self-Defense” :

“By feminist self-defense training, I mean classes that focus on sexual violence against women, that teach skills appropriate for women’s bodies, for rapid learning, and for sexual assault situations, and that address gender socialization and other psychological issues that make self-defense challenging for many women. Feminist self-defense classes also teach options rather than prescriptions for responding to assault and focus on prevention and interruption of assault as well as physical self-defense (see Hollander,2004; Telsey, 2001).”

I asked for a show of hands: “How many of you are here because you really need to hit something or someone today?” I got several raised hands and plenty of laughs. “Well, I promise you that we will get to that, but hitting is only one part of learning self-defense— and it is neither the first, nor the most important.”

I explained the Five Stage Model of self-defense: Awareness. Intuition. Assertiveness. Attack and Recovery and said a few words about each. Then, I, fellow self-defense instructor Gali Sagi, and 50+ of our newest “close” female friends began to move. We breathed together and discussed conscious breathing is a self-defense skill. We showed how physical balance supports mental balance and demonstrated different uses for assertive body language. We did a brief Belief Inventory by reading statements and asking the women to move to the “I agree” side of the room or the “I disagree” side of the room. Then, I read them the relevant statistical evidence. That, of course, resulted in a few good shouting matches. Healthy self-expression.

We taught them the Palm Heel Strike, had volunteers come up to strike the X-Ray paper we held and had all the women in the room yell “NO!” along with them. One women come up in high heels, so I showed them how to do a good Foot Stomp and told them the story of the assailant in California who, after his unsuccessful attempt to assault a woman, was identified in the hospital by the stiletto heel still stuck in his instep.

The 45 minutes sped by. When I told the group that we had to stop because our time was up, there was a collective groan.

In closing, I asked them if they could feel the joy and power in the room “This is what a self-defense class is like,” I told them” Filled with the joy and the power of facing our fears and finding our strengths.” I invited them to take El HaLev business cards and to write down their contact information if they were interested in learning more. Many of the women came up and took cards, wrote down contact information, stayed to talk, or greeted me in the hall to say how much they enjoyed the workshop.

I called El HaLev to tell them how well things had gone. They were as excited as I was. That was hours ago and my feet have not yet touched the ground.

And now, at least for a few hours, I can remember why I put myself through things like this.

***

This past week’s headlines included everything from the Rishon L’Zion Oshrenko Family murder trial to another 12 year-old girl, this time from Bat Yam, gang raped (see below), from a child molester in Modiin sent to a Psychiatric Hospital to a 17 year-old beaten to death in Beer Sheva by the step-father of a teenage girl who broke curfew on the night of Lag B’Omer (see below). In the North, there was the Lag B’Omer reveler who allegedly sexually abused a 14 year-old boy during the course of the festivities and the father from the Galil who abused his 2 year-old son to the point of blindness. Tough week.

Police nab girlfriend of teen beaten to death in Beersheba
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
05/05/2010

The 15-year-old girlfriend of a teen beaten to death by her stepfather in Beersheba this week was arrested on Wednesday for providing a false account to police.

Arik Rafaelov, 16, was laid to rest on Tuesday. He was killed after being struck repeatedly by the stepfather. Rafaelov’s brother said the murder victim had been struck with a hammer and kept in stepfather’s home for hours before medical attention was sought, when it was far too late. Police are investigating those claims.

According to some reports, Rafaelov’s girlfriend told police that her stepfather was unarmed during the incident, matching an account given by her stepfather and mother.

Police refused to confirm the reports. “We think her statement to us was false, and the court will have to look into this,” a Negev Police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “We cannot discuss the content of her statement,” the spokesman added.

Teens suspected of raping 12-year-old outside school
Police arrest four teenage boys in Bat Yam suspected of raping girl who was involved with one of them over two-year period

Yoav Zitun
Published: 05.03.10, 11:31 / Israel News

Police arrested four teenage boys aged 13-17 from Bat Yam on Monday suspected of raping a 12-year-old girl who was involved with one of them. According to suspicions, the teens repeatedly raped the girl over a period of two years, in public locations including outside their school.

Four suspects were arrested in their homes and were accompanied to the police station by their parents. An additional boy was arrested shortly after. They are all slated to face a remand hearing after being interrogated.

The Wolf Guarding The Chickens

In Sexual Assault on May 2, 2010 at 13:27
How did a convicted murderer-pedophile end up as a guard for a suicidal 14 year old girl?

That is the question being asked by a good portion of Israeli society since this story broke last week. It’s important to understand two background points about this story:

1) The role of security guard is taken very seriously in this society. Many Israeli security guards have sacrificed their lives by exposing and blocking suspected terrorists from entering restaurants, malls and schools to protect the people they are charged with protecting.

2) The law in Israel about hiring security personnel as well as anyone who works with kids is crystal-clear: Before being hired, everyone has to present a printout obtained from the police department certifying that s/he has never been convicted of a crime that might indicate a history of violence or sexual offenses.

All of which only begs the question: How could a charity like Matav have made such a serious mistake? Was it pure, unadulterated neglect or did someone decide that s/he was wiser than the law? Was it was simply too inconvenient to take the steps that could have prevented this outrage?Whose time and attention was worth more than the health and well-being of a fragile 14 year-old girl?

In the end, it is she, her family and our entire society that pays the price for a crime of negligence like this.

So perhaps, while we are out pointing fingers , we should take a good look at ourselves:
  • How often do we play with the boundaries of the law: drive too fast, fail to buckle a child into a stroller or car seat, leave the scene of a scrape or fender-bender because its too small to deal with or too inconvenient?
  • How often do we ignore our sense that something is not right, that still, small voice of warning we get when entering certain situations because we feel others will not respect us, or it seems harmless or it would be inconvenient to make other plans?

The choices we make have consequences. Sometimes we pay a high price for those “little things” we decide to let slide. And sometimes, others end up paying the price for us.

Pedophile-killer ‘molested suicidal girl’ in hospital

By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Jerusalem Post
29/04/2010

Director of charity that hired man to work as guard questioned on suspicion of employing convicted felon to protect minors.

A 70-year-old man from Herzliya who was convicted and served a lengthy prison term for murdering his former wife and raping minors was arrested at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba on Thursday after allegedly molesting a 14-year-old suicidal girl whom he was employed to guard.

The suspect, Yosef Nunu, was hired by the Matav charity to work as a security guard. The charity’s director was questioned by police under suspicion of employing a convicted felon to protect minors in violation of the law.

Nunu served 24 years in prison for murder, molesting minors, raping young girls, and molesting family members. He was released after receiving a presidential pardon.

Nunu was tasked with securing a girl who had been hospitalized after attempting to take her own life.

The incident has caused national outrage, and police have stressed that the law calls for any agency which employs people who work around children to ensure that the employee produces a certificate from police stating that he or she has no previous convictions.

According to suspicions, Nunu began molesting and touching the girl while she lay in her hospital bed. He was seen by doctors hovering over the girl. The doctors became alarmed at his actions and immediately called police.

During police questioning, Nunu denied the suspicions, saying he merely “wanted to cheer her up” by giving her “a massage and a kiss to the forehead.”

The Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court extended Nunu’s custody by five days, and described the suspect as a danger to those around him.

Peace, Politics & A Stabbing in a Church

In violence prevention on April 25, 2010 at 12:31

Strange Contrast: A Stabbing in The Church & Peace Among Warriors

You’ve probably noticed by now that I avoid political discussion. It’s not that I am not interested in politics. Here in Israel, politics is not only THE “national sport”, it is a matter of survival. It is too close too close to my heart to remain in my head.  And I am not the only one who feels that way.

Take the story below, for instance. What motivated the stabbing in The Church? Is it anti-Christian terrorism? Is it internecine violence? Or is it a lone crazy with a knife? The facts are not yet known but your opinion as to how the facts will play out will probably depend on your beliefs, your knowledge and your fears. Not on the statistics. Your heart, not your head.

All of which brings me to this past weekend. Every three months or so, I get together with this very unusual group of martial artists collectively known as Budo For Peace (BFP).

Budo For Peace is a non-profit organization founded and led by Danny Hakim, a high-ranking teacher of Shotokan Karate. Danny travels the world to train and compete. During a get-together in Japan, he was struck by the fact that, when adherents to the practice and values of the martial arts get together, they work in harmony despite the political climate outside the door. Iranians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Americans, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews- as long as TV cameras keep their distance, the participants’ common purpose blurred the political, religious and social lines between them.

Danny returned to Israel with a dream. With the help of a Japanese government grant and donors like 1-2-1 in Britain and Sugat in Israel, he  created Budo For Peace, an organization of instructors  from a wide range of populations, Jewish, Arab, Druse and Bedouin, who teach traditional martial arts- Karate, Aikido, Ju-jitsu, etc.- to  students ages 9-13 and 14-16,  together with the arts’ traditional values: honesty, loyalty, courage, gentleness, kindness, respect and so on. BFP’s Values Education curriculum is based on  a book written by American martial arts instructor Terrence Webster-Doyle.

Three to four times a year, the instructors spend Thursday-Friday working out together, learning games and teaching strategies, planning activities and, most importantly, practicing what they preach, creating an Island of Peace in which the bonds between them take center stage and the world, with all its conflicts, melts away.

When I was first invited to take part in Budo For Peace, I recoiled. It was inconceivable to me that a gathering of Israeli Arabs and Jews would not be rife with hand-wringing and propaganda. I told Danny I would come but, at the first hint of a political agenda, I told him “I’m out of there”.  I never left. Even though I have no BFP dojo of my own, I have continued to attend these sessions for three years.

Sometimes, when we are all sitting in the classroom, joking around like a group of grade-schoolers, I take a mental leap back and realize that I am living a dream, that for 20 hours, as John Lennon might say “the world is one”.

How strange that it is the so-called “Fighting Arts” that  create the framework for such a peaceful gathering. How strange and, yet, how fitting. When people of good will have confidence in themselves and in their ability to stand their ground,  then they have the power to choose how to respond, rather than to react to the world around them.

When the Head, The Heart and the Body are one, then the world can live as one.

Tourist Shot After Attacking Church Goers

Man seriously wounded in chest, leg after trying to stab worshipers, policemen in Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem; his identity and motive unclear

Shmulik Grossman

April 23, 2010

YNETnews.com

A tourist was shot by a policeman on Friday evening after trying to stab worshipers and police officers at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. One police officer was lightly injured in the incident.

The officer ordered the tourist to put his knife down, but the man refused and threatened to hurt one of the worshipers. He then attempted to stab a policeman as well.

A Magen David Adom crew dispatched to the area attended to the tourist, who sustained serious wounds, and evacuated him to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. A hospital official said he was injured in the leg and chest. His identity is unknown.

The security forces are looking into the incident and the stabber’s motives.

According to eyewitnesses, two priests and a policeman had asked the worshipers to leave the church just before its closing hour. When they approached the tourist, he pulled out a knife and after refusing to put it down, the policeman sprayed him with tear gas. The tourist was shot after rioting and threatening to hurt one of the worshipers.

The officer who shot the tourist said he aimed at the upper part of the man’s body after he had tried to stab him and a priest standing next to him. A police investigation revealed that the tourist arrived in Israel on Friday, bought the knife in the Old City and hid it between his clothes.

Many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and then resurrected at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Sound of Silence

In Violence in Israeli Society on March 4, 2010 at 20:53

Meditation promotes inner silence

There is silence... and silence.

Silence has been given a bad rap.

Silence is meant to be “broken”. “Keeping silent” evokes suspicion, maintaining your “right to silence”, a sure sign of guilt.

The story  below is the the second recent headliner here in Israel about a young girl/woman caught in a web of sexual abuse by a group of teens as young as 13. Stories like these reinforce our belief in the menace of silence .

However, after spending a week in silence on a meditation retreat (see Fear of Nothing), I now understand that it is “noise” , not “silence” that is the true threat.

It was not “silence” that birthed the years of suffering this young teen endured; it was noise— noise from society about what it is to be a man or a woman, about love,  about sacrifice, media images that confuse sex with love and violence with sex, inner static about her own lack of worth plus whatever lies, promises and threats the boys themselves used to break her mentally and emotionally before they violated her physically. As we say in IMPACT self-defense when the attacker begins his mixed litany of demands, appeals and threats:  “Blah-blah-blah”. It’s  all noise.

In contrast, when we gently clear away the noise and turn down the static, the resulting silence leaves space for inner wisdom to emerge. It gives us a chance to examine the things we tell ourselves and the things we allow ourselves to absorb from others. It makes it possible for us to see that underneath the noise, we are more than our thoughts, more than our fears, more than our dreams.

The silence that emerges from terrible stories like these must, indeed, be broken. However, if we are to prevent young women from falling prey to the noise that substitutes for their own sense of hope, faith and worth, we need to help them turn down the noise in their lives so they can encounter themselves and learn to accept themselves with the love and compassion they deserve. That we all deserve.


State indicts 13 teens for sexual abuse

Jerusalem Post

March 4, 2010 Thursday

By DAN IZENBERG
04/03/2010

15 separate criminal charges filed in assault of high school girl.

As the 13 teenage suspects sat hunched over on courtroom benches and covered their heads and faces with sweatshirt hoods on Wednesday, the state filed an indictment against them that included 15 separate criminal charges.

The indictment was filed in Tel Aviv District Court.

There was a chilling contrast between the dry wording of the charges, drafted by attorneys Livnat Melamed and Lilach Shalom of the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office (Criminal), and the actions they described.

Regarding the first charge, the prosecutors wrote, “On various occasions, the exact time of which are unknown to the prosecutor, during the period relevant to the indictment, the first defendant routinely brought the complainant to various meeting places. Before that, he would coordinate with the other defendants and others, who would come to the various meeting places with the intent of committing rape, sodomy and indecent acts, all of which were committed without her freely given consent, by exploiting her emotional dependency on the first defendant.”

The first defendant, the so-called boyfriend of “Aleph Aleph,” the victim, was included in 14 of the charges in the indictment. They included 10 counts of rape in aggravated circumstances, four counts of sodomy, four counts of indecent assault, two counts of assault and one count each of attempted rape in aggravated circumstances, being in possession of pornography, and abuse.

According to the indictment, Aleph Aleph and the first defendant first met at school around the beginning of 2006. They were a couple for a while but then broke up and remained friends. At the beginning of 2007 (the beginning of the “relevant period,” which lasted until January 2010), Aleph Aleph told the first defendant that she loved him and that she was dependent on and had very strong feelings for him. She told him she would do anything he wanted as long as he stayed with her. If he left her, she would kill herself.

“In the relevant period,” the indictment continued, “because of her emotional dependence on the first defendant, he abused her by frequently assaulting her illegally by using his hands and feet. He called her names, cursed her, and insulted her in public. He was able to do this by taking advantage of her dependency and love. The other defendants knew about this behavior and in some cases witnessed it.”

The first defendant began inviting friends to rape Aleph Aleph, according to the indictment. In most of the cases, several youths raped her one at a time while the others looked on.

“The defendants knew, and were present, when the first defendant attacked the complainant, either when she asked to stop having sex with one or another of the defendants, or, frequently, in and out of school. The defendants also knew about, and were even present at, incidents in which the first defendant abused Aleph Aleph. They also knew that she was afraid of him and afraid to refuse to have intimate meetings with them for fear that the first defendant would cut off ties with her,” the indictment stated.

One of the lawyers in the case, Asher Chen, told The Jerusalem Post that he was representing one of the defendants who was only being charged on one count, and that his client had witnessed a rape but not taken part in it. He said his client had known Aleph Aleph for only two months and had met her after she’d left the school she and the first defendant had attended together.

Attorney Avi Hilmi told the Post he was representing a client charged with two counts of sodomy and one count of rape in aggravated circumstances.

Hilmi added that several of the defendants had only known Aleph Aleph for a short time. However, several others apparently knew the complainant from the beginning of the “relevant period.” One of them was charged with 12 sexual violations and another with 10.

In one case, the first defendant was charged with the attempted rape of Aleph Aleph’s best friend, identified in the indictment as “Bet Bet.” The charge also included sodomy and committing an indecent act. He was also accused of taking a total of NIS 2,000 to NIS 3,000 from Aleph Aleph, as well as her cellular phone, which he used to make calls at her expense. In another charge, he was accused of being in possession of pedophilic photographs.

Stepping Up To The Plate

In Sexual Assault on February 10, 2010 at 14:19

Last night, I had the honor and pleasure of instructing in Tel Aviv as part of one of our IMPACT Self-Defense teams. Nothing strange about that. What IS unusual is that IMPACT-Israel is currently running THREE IMPACT courses simultaneously: a women’s course on Sunday mornings in Jerusalem, a Teen course for at-risk teens in Rishon L’Zion and, now, this new evening women’s course  in Tel Aviv.

The good news is, word is getting out about IMPACT. IMPACT is such a powerful  experience for participants and staff alike, and word-of-mouth is the mainstay of our success. Happily, a growing number of our students seem to be coming to us through referrals from therapists who see IMPACT as part of the sexual assault survivor’s process of recovery and reintegration. It is very gratifying to speak with mental health professionals who see us as part of the “treatment team”.

The bad news, of course, is in the headlines. Just take a look at the article below: “Sharp rise in sexual assault; 15% of the victims are younger than 13”. The women who are coming to us are the brave ones, the ones who read the articles, see the news and say to themselves: “I’d better do something about this.” Just by picking up the phone, these women are demonstrating the essence of personal empowerment: Stepping up to the plate.

Perhaps that is the reality of our situation. As martial arts instructors and self-instructors of every stripe, perhaps we can only to reach those who are already strong enough to reach out and grasp the tools we offer. Or perhaps there are ways for us to reach out that could enable us to reach those not quite ready to make the call. To prevent a potential trip to a hospital Sexual Assault Unit. To change the identity of the patient in the ambulance from that of the potential victim to that of the attempted assailant.

In essence, like our students, we too must begin from a place of believing that we can succeed only if we are willing to embody the change we seek.  So please feel free to share your “why-don’t-you-try?”s or “this-has-worked-for us”s. We are listening and, I hope,  courageous enough to step up to the plate.

Sharp rise in sexual assault: 15% of the victims are younger than 13

The Rape Crisis Center at Wolfson Hospital in Holon publicized that, within the last decade, the number of women referring themselves for treatment has risen 600%. “Every year Israel is becoming more dangerous for women”, said the Director of the Women’s Health & Maternity Unit at the hospital and, according to its Director of Social Work Services , “we long ago lost our morality as a society”.

Translation by Jill Shames from the Hebrew article on NRG

Tomer Valmar | 9/2/2010 10:14

The Center for Victims of Sexual Assault at Wolfson Hospital in Holon has publicized that, in 2009, 360 women came to the Center for treatment, an increase of 600% over the year 2000. Data published by the Center shows that almost a third of the victims are under 18, and that, in most cases, the sexual assault is accompanied by physical violence.

The Center for Victims of Sexual Assault at Wolfson Hospital in Holon was founded in 2000. For eight years, it was the only place in Israel designed for this purpose. In its first year of operation, sixty women came for treatment, which is now handled by six sexual assault survivors.

Data from the Center given to Maariv (an Israeli newspaper), indicated an increase in the number of cases of sexual assault using physical force that required medical intervention and, sometimes, prolonged hospitalization. According to the Director of the Women’s Health & Maternity Unit at the hospital, Prof. Abraham Golan, since the Wolfson Center was the only place offering specialized therapy for victims of sexual assault until two years ago, the data is indicative of a national trend.

“We are talking about a very disturbing picture signifying that, every year, Israeli society is becoming more violent and more dangerous for women,” said Prof Golan. According to the Center’s data, 40% of the attacks, 37% of which were assaults of girls 18-14, occurred on weekends. It also showed that older women are usually attacked at night while girls are attacked mainly in the afternoon hours.

Reaching the hospital within 24 hours

Even the places where the attacks occur vary by age: While girls aged 14-17 are most often attacked in public places like gardens or playgrounds, women aged 18-25 are most likely to be attacked at the home of the attacker. Attacks against older women usually occur in the woman’s own home.

In addition, according to Prof. Golan, there has been a sharp increase in recent years of women being attacked while they are under the influence of alcohol. Women aged 18-25 are the most likely group to be under the influence of alcohol when they are victimized. Doctors at the Center said that, many times, these women arrive at the hospital unconscious, unclothed and with no memory of what happened to them or who attacked them.

Dr. Giulia Barda, the gynecologist in charge of the therapeutic center explains: “In the wake of a sexual assault, it is advisable to get to the hospital within 24 hours, in order to enable us to find evidence of injury and the presence of alcohol and drugs during examination. Similarly, rapid treatment is very effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. ‘

The hospital’s Social Work Service Director Sima Oren added: “The feeling is that, as a society, we long ago lost our morality, and that, in most cases, these women are subjected to psychological damage that is very difficult to cure.”

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.