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abuse

Karma is a Social Media Bitch

First all I could think was “holy shit”… a two page spread in the New York Daily News with my name all over it.  Then it was “holy shit”… a two page spread in the New York Daily News with my name all over it, and THANK YOU Larry McShane (@lmcshanenydn) for exposing the truth with such eloquence and accuracy.  I cannot thank you enough for the powerful article you wrote and I know I speak for all of his victims when expressing such deep gratitude.

I’d like to address directly one of the quotes Marc Gafni aka Mordechai Winiarz provided Mr. McShane.

“What they are doing is social media rape.”  Guess what? Real rape, real molestation, real stalking, real manipulation, real threats are far more criminal than an online battle of words.

So many bizarre memories are slowly returning (some positive, some definitely not).  Apparently when I was in University a professor gave me an article of his to read; I turned around, handed it back to her and gave her an education on Mordechai Winiarz; apparently one she never forgot – and then never assigned articles written by him again. I only have a vague recollection of doing this. But I gotta tell you, I was pretty bad ass to stand up for myself back then when I was still so terrified of him.

His cycle described by so many of his victims is what is so indicative of the sociopathic nature. The same story again and again, just altered ever so slightly so he is perceived “less guilty”, so he can more easily turn the tables.  Altered all the more so over the years – avoiding under age victims, because although possibly easier to manipulate they were too dangerous of skeletons to have in his crowded closet.

eliz pic
Elizabeth Sorvillo

If you are a victim of this man (under age or otherwise) I encourage you to contact Elizabeth Sorvillo who is advocating on behalf of his victims. She has offered her time, energy and support to help stop his abusive behavior once and for all.  The victims owe her more than she will ever know.

As for the other anonymous underage victim (who I personally know and send my love and suport); your quote ended this fantastic article and spoke volumes for all of us who have suffered over the past three decades. “And he is still the same guy who molested a 13 year old. He is not a different person.”

PLEASE PLEASE sign the petition linked to below. Get this man’s funding stopped before he hurts more people. The link also appears to the right on my blogs side bar.

http://change.org/p/whole-foods-www-esalen-com-stop-marc-gafni-from-abusing-again

 

Don’t silence a cry for help…

Since my initial blog regarding my abuse and my abuser, two other survivors of this man’s terror have contacted me (and I’ve eaten way too much chocolate). There is a sense of not being alone, but sharing this in common is not comforting – it’s just disturbing. I know there are dozens of women Marc Winiarz Gafni has hurt over the decades, and at the time of my abuse I knew of one other he was inappropriate with, and considered his then wife a victim as well, but until the past decade or so the others have only been numbers to me. Now they are people and the shared pain is excruciating. It only fuels my anger more that decades later still no one may be listening.

LISTEN
LISTEN

I understand that times are different now. I understand that people are less afraid to talk about sexual abuse when it comes to the clergy, but there is one thing I will never understand. I am a parent of two daughters (and three sons) a now sixteen-year-old daughter, and a daughter who was once 16 as well. In a million years I can neither both imagine blaming her for being sexually abused, nor envision that people I know would not believe her and/or speak out in defense of her abuser. As painful as recalling the abuse has been, and is – each and every time, equally painful is the reaction to my speaking out each of those times as well. Honestly I don’t know why I bother to tell and retell my story (a story that has not changed for 30+ years). No change occurs; and neither does justice, reparation nor apology. There will always be those few who appreciate, who encourage and who offer support, but they are few and far between.

The Rabbinate is NOT immune to sexual dysfunction or mental disorders. Rabbis (male and female) are human with imperfections; some of these flaws are so severe and run so deep that they are irreparable. These same dysfunctions occur across humanity. It is not “safe to assume” simply because someone is in a position of leadership, (religious or otherwise) that they present no threat to others. I would argue quite the opposite. Individuals in such positions must be held to an even higher standard, and must be placed under a more intense light of scrutiny. These people influence our children and other vulnerable members of our population.

If anyone comes to you (especially a child) to share a painful experience, PLEASE really listen, reserve any judgment and believe what you are hearing. Statistics alone have proven that the majority of those who share stories of abuse are not just lying to get attention (as I was accused of), or being coerced by others to bolster a campaign against a particular individual. Talking about an uncomfortable sexual encounter is not something people do easily, readily or honestly even willingly. More often then not someone who cares knows something is wrong, and it is with his or her support that a survivor speaks.

Anorexia-in-the-mirrorIf you need help, ask. If you are being abused sexually, emotionally, physically; tell someone.  If you are using food in any way as a coping mechanism (over eating, not eating, vomiting); tell someone. I was lucky to have ONE such person I could tell in 1986. Had that person not been there I’d likely not be here now. I don’t think she realizes that I owe her my life. Please be that person for someone if they need you – you may actually be saving a life.

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