He pointed to a pair of recent New York Times articles that exposed a potentially massive problem within the tight-knit Jewish community, wherein victims and their families were being discouraged from, and sometimes even ostracized for, speaking to the police about instances of sexual and physical abuse against their children.
As cars and buses passed by into the parking lot, Mandel and his group held signs with messages like “The Internet Never Molested Me” and shouted sing-song slogans.
Friedman stood beside Mandel, holding a small sign as she leaned against the metal barricade separating the protestors from the crawling traffic. “They don’t want to understand the consequences of child sexual abuse, of what happens when you’re exposed to that,” she said.
“I read on a Yiddish forum someone saying that the whole concept of sexual abuse is made up by the Goyim, the outside world.”
She continued: “There’s this attitude within the community that this is just something that happens. They’ll say, ‘It happened to my father, and to his father, and it’s just no big deal.’ But the focus on the internet is just a distraction from what’s really going on here.”