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Development   /  Danny Ben-Moshe

Familial child sexual abuse in the Jewish community

A pioneering film that explores child sexual in a family rather than institutional setting.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Danny Ben-Moshe

  • PRODUCER Danny Ben-Moshe

Synopsis

DURATION: 60 MINUTES

While most documentaries focus on child sexual abuse within institutions, this documentary aims to educate and raise awareness on child sexual abuse within the family. To our knowledge, this is a world-first within the Jewish community – where a family agrees to go on the public record in this manner. The family is known by many in the Melbourne Jewish community and are/were connected to the Modern Orthodox community. Of course, everything is being done in close consultation with all involved, especially the victim/survivor.

While the focus of this documentary is on the victim/survivor and her story, there is also a lot of secondary trauma involved with the rest of the family. Therefore, we will also discuss the profound and ongoing broader impact of the abuse.

We will be focusing on issues like prevention (i.e. was this preventable in any way), intervention (i.e. picking up signs of abuse at an earlier opportunity – prior to the dad owning up to it one Friday night after the Shabbat meal), support (i.e. the role of the various family members – especially the wife/mum and her role), etc. This will literally be a teaching/learning experience like no other.

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30.61% funded
  • $95,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $29,077.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • 23

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Donations

LAURENCE FRYBERG $60.00
Anonymous $30.00
Trevor Chambers $100.00
Jeffrey Kamins $180.00
David Benau $100.00
Anonymous $54.00
William David Rooseboom $200.00
Anonymous $100.00
David Leinkram $1,000.00
Michelle Favero $50.00
David Goldman $685.00
Ev Schenfeld $50.00
Vicki Gordon $100.00
Alan Rosenthal $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Michael Barnett $50.00
Bruce Cooke $100.00
Yechiel Belfer $18.00
Vivien Resofsky $10,000.00
Cassy & Ben Liberman & Krasnostein $5,000.00
Anonymous $500.00
Phillip and Silvia Piorun $10,000.00
David Leinkram $500.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Child sex abuse (CSA) is a recognised global phenomenon. In Australia, Israel & the US, around one in five children, 20% of the population, has experienced some form of CSA. In Australia, it has been the subject of a Royal Commission, which included case studies into the Orthodox Jewish Chabad sect. As the world comes to grips with the scale of CSA, more cases have emerged in the Jewish world. The problem is particularly acute in insular and secretive ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. While the public focus has been on institutional abuse, most cases happen within the family environment. This film will follow the story of a local Orthodox Jewish family, where a father sexually abused his daughter over a number of years, which greatly impacted the entire family in many ways.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

1/ Raise awareness and educate the community about CSA, 2/ Encourage and empower Jewish organisations to adopt best practice in addressing CSA, 3/ Assist in the healing process for victims, survivors and their families, 4/ Make it clear that CSA in the Jewish community is everyone’s responsibility and individuals need to act in their home environments rather than rely on institutional actors. The film will fill a gap in programs by offering an accessible tool for communities and individuals

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

SHORT TERM: Global Jewish organisations community members will be made aware of the film in order to consider its use. The film will help bring a new community wide approach to addressing CSA onto organisational agendas & offer a tool for communal programming.

MEDIUM TERM: The film will be rolled out in & by Jewish organisations. It will have wide exposure amongst Jewish educators, lay & religious leaders who will be involved in its dissemination as organisations will encourage adult members to watch the film at home, & it will be discussed in Jewish media. Jewish individuals watching the film online in their own homes as well as in communal settings will come to accept they, as well as institutions, have responsibility for CSA prevention and intervention.

LONG TERM: Participating organisations will change and develop more effective child protection policy and practice, with ongoing vigilance and action about CSA by community members. Children will be safer in their homes.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The filmmakers are partnering with global Jewish child protection NGO VoiCSA (formerly Kol v’Oz) who will drive the film’s distribution working directly with Jewish organisations and media worldwide, who will also encourage adult members to watch the film online. VoiCSA will also make it available on their social media platforms. VoiCSA are advising the filmmakers on the optimal content for maximum impact ensuring the film is made in a way that is accessible & practical for the Jewish organisations and community members it is aimed at. The film will be submitted to screen at major Jewish communal events, such as the annual Limmud Festival in Australia & worldwide. After seeing the film, viewers will have a better sense of their own responsibility and actions they can take to prevent child sex abuse. By partnering with VoiCSA , the film has an organisation that will actively and strategically advance it.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The filmmakers have a partnership with a global Jewish child protection NGO who are bringing together a team of experts for the filmmakers to consult as they write the film. The film is informed by the advice of VoiCSA on content and style, and cultural sensitivity, to resonate with those who watch it. VoiCSA are also assisting the filmmakers in sourcing participants in the film, including the survivor of child sex abuse, her family and any other relevant party in Australia and overseas. VoiCSA have directed the filmmakers to several child protection films and resources used by other communities, which have helped inform this documentary. VoiCSA will drive the film’s dissemination.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Through the documentary's personal story, individuals and organisations will have a much better idea on what they need to do to enhance child protection and will know they can turn to VoiCSA for assistance and guidance.

The community will have better knowledge of child sexual abuse, attitudes about it will change and most importantly protective behaviours towards children will change.

Examples of the protective behaviours towards children changing: organisations using the film to adopt rigorous child protection policy and practices, parents minimising risk to their children and being able to intervene if they suspect grooming or abuse is happening, parents providing adequate support for their abused children.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

The film aims for more Jewish community activity in addressing child sexual abuse to prevent it by significantly improving attitudes, knowledge and behaviour. It will be hard to establish a direct qualitative nexus between such outcomes and the film, but the film will be an important part of a broader debate and resultant policy, practice and behavioural change about child sex abuse in the Jewish world. Measures of this will be events and discussions in communal settings and media. A quantitative achievable indicator for success will be its uptake by the partner organisation VoiCSA and then the number and range of Jewish organisations who program the film in their communal settings, the number of hits the film gets online and the number of articles about it in the Jewish and broader media.