What Can Be Done?
Many years ago I became aware of a certain Terrible Situation being perpetrated by someone. I don't want to go into specifics at this point, but it was a form of severe emotional abuse and long-term life harm. The victims of this person, some of whom I knew personally, were badly hurt. Those who had managed to extract themselves from the situation just wanted to put it behind them and try to move on with their lives. I, on the other hand, was raised with a very strong message that you don't just stand by and allow terrible things to happen. But what could I do?
There was nothing actually illegal taking place, so there was no option of going to the police. At the time, I was in the charedi community, and I went to consult a prominent rabbinic authority and told him about the situation. Despairingly, he said that he doesn't think that anything can be done. He pointed out that even with sexual abuse, it took years for the rabbinic establishment to understand that it needed to be taken seriously; they just wouldn't understand the gravity of the situation that I was describing.
As the years went on, the situation kept getting worse. Every so often I would hear new and even more shocking stories. The perpetrator was now being further enabled by others (who ironically themselves were, in a way, victims).
I tried contacting journalists, to see if they were interested in writing an expose. One of them was interested, but nothing ever came of it. And the type of Anglo-Jewish journalists who do this kind of investigative work are generally in the US, whereas this situation is in Israel.
The only other route was to write an expose myself. But I was wary of doing so, for numerous reasons. One was that I was already fighting plenty of other battles, which were quite draining. Another was that the perpetrator himself was a victim of a different but even more terrible type of harm, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Yet another was that the perpetrator had never harmed me personally; in fact, he had helped me in several ways, and so I felt guilty about blowing the whistle on him. Some people who were familiar with the situation told me that it was pointless; they said that those who need to know won't care what I have to say. In addition, I was simply afraid. When you start up with crazy people, you never know how they will respond. And I'm not even sure of the legality of publicly stating some very serious charges about people. Someone who cares about me keeps telling me that I'm not Batman and I should not engage in such crusades.
But I've been wrestling with this for about twenty years now. I keep thinking of Chazal's statement that במקום שאין אנשים השתדל להיות איש. And I just heard yet another story about this situation, this time involving financial exploitation.
What should I do? I'd appreciate advice (but not from people who are just gung-ho about my doing something and don't care about risks and concerns).
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