Dear Ms. Sebrow,

First, I want to thank you and the 5TJT for bringing this topic out in the open. Silence only strengthens the perpetrators and allows them to continue. I was impressed with your thorough and insightful, yet sensitive response.

After I read March 8’s Dating Forum I had a lot of emotions. I felt pained over the pain, loneliness, and anguish this young woman is feeling. I had anger at this supposedly Jewish “man”/animal who would use, abuse, and callously toss away a bas Yisrael. I also experienced agitation and was triggered over the sexual abuse I had experienced 19 years ago, also in a shidduchim situation, by a young man known to be very frum, tzniyus, and dedicated to learning Torah.

I never told my family what happened to me. I was silent for 19 years, denying what I had experienced while feeling the pain and knowing the truth. For 19 long years I felt dirty and degraded, embarrassed and ashamed, and even guilty over what became my “dirty little secret.” I daven for this young woman (and the too many like her) that she should come forward immediately to get the help and healing needed. Please don’t wait.

I also hope she has the strength to report him, both for her healing and for the prevention of his (and other perpetrators’) potential future victims. This was clearly a premeditated attack, as one doesn’t normally keep these drugs around for innocent purposes. I had wanted to report what had happened to me but I knew the law wouldn’t have helped. Baruch Hashem, a lot has changed in 19 years and she should be taken seriously by the police. It pains me to think my abuser has potentially hurt others and I couldn’t have stopped him.

To the community, we need to take this seriously and acknowledge it happens. My husband, who only last month found out his wife of 18+ years had been abused, wants that every young woman should be taught what to do in case of abuse or even suspected abuse. Every woman should know the number to call and should call it immediately. The perpetrator’s name should be released publicly so people will know to protect themselves from him. I also question whether the practice of a young man privately transporting his date in his car is safe.

May Hashem protect us and give healing to those who have been hurt and to those who are sick and have/will hurt others.

Thank you,

S

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