Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Molestation of Children

Adopted by the CCAR at the 96th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis

The CCAR views with deep anguish increasing evidence of the rise of child abuse, and especially child sexual abuse, in this country. The physical suffering and the psychological scars resulting from these criminal acts will have tragic impact on this generation and on generations yet to come. We are most sympathetic for these abused children, who are often victimized by the act and by doubts of the legitimacy of their testimony. We are also concerned for those adults who are judged guilty when accused of these crimes, even before thorough investigation has proceeded and a fair trial conducted.

Therefore be it resolved that the CCAR affirms its concern for molested children and its support for the agencies working in their behalf, and urges the proper protection of children who are called upon to testify. We wish to protect their dignity and privacy. We urge that sensitive and ethical techniques be employed to separate their true testimony from possible distortions resulting from improper prompting and questioning in both pre-trial and in court proceedings.

Be it further resolved that we urge the media and the law enforcement agencies not to pre-judge the adults who stand accused of child molestation, but to investigate the charges thoroughly, mindful of those influences that may cause a child to exaggerate or falsify statements regarding relationships with relatives, friends, or strangers.