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I was betrayed by community, says sex-abused girl

    A woman who was sexually abused by a close family friend has spoken out about her betrayal, first by her abuser and then by the Orthodox Jewish community.

    Yehudis Goldsobel, now 27, from Edgware in north London was sexually assaulted by Menachem Mendel Levy from the age of 14. Three weeks ago he was jailed for three years.

    Now Yehudis has waived her legal right to anonymity in order to break the silence and speak about the crimes that took her teenage years from her.

    She speaks of the “horrible, messy process” of battling through the courts, and how she was ostracised from her community — which she was told was her “punishment from God” for being “less Orthodox”.

    She says of her decision to go to the police: “It’s not a triumph, it wasn’t something to celebrate, but it was something I had to do.”

    Yehudis has created a charity, Migdal Emunah, to support victims of abuse in the community. She hopes that this, along with telling her story, will encourage others to come forward and that by raising awareness no one else will have to suffer as she did.

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