Dealing with reality

May 21, 2015 14:27

On one level, the conviction of Todros Grynhaus is no more and no less than the bringing to justice of a paedophile. But in reality it is a lot more than that. It is inconceivable that Grynhaus is a lone example. What we do not know, simply because the evidence has not been brought to light, is the scale of the problem. But Australia's experience - and there is little reason to think that Britain is different - is that the true scale is far worse than is ever admitted. Australia's Charedi community actively sought to cover up its deep-rooted sexual abuse problem from the outside world. It required a Royal Commission to reveal its extent, with consequences that will be felt for generations to come. In that context, it was deeply disturbing that Mr Grynhaus's father, Dayan Dovid Grynhaus, told the court that the appropriate punishment would be "a good dressing down by the Beth Din." Such a statement shows one of the fundamental problems that has to be confronted. We do not live in a nation in which religious leaders decide the nature of crime and punishment. Until that is understood, progress on this issue will only ever be piecemeal.

May 21, 2015 14:27

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