But this is not solely a haredi issue. We modern Orthodox have little to be proud of in this arena. Consider the hottest topic in modern Orthodoxy: whom to nominate for Chief Rabbi of Israel. Should it be 76-year-old Rabbi Yaakov Ariel or 53-year-old Rabbi David Stav? While the latter is considered more liberal, he is a member of Forum Takanah, designed to deal with sexual harassment in the religious community, of which Rabbi Ariel is president. This organization was relatively obscure until the Rabbi Mordechai "Mutty" Elon scandal broke three years ago.
Perhaps you're thinking that Takanah is some relic of a benighted time when we didn't really "get" sexual abuse. Probably the era when Emmanuel Lewis had to tell us to "Say NO, then GO and TELL." Actually, Takanah was founded in 2003. Yes, 2003, the same year that three rabbis got up at my alma mater, Yeshiva University in New York, to beg public forgiveness for their bungling of the Baruch Lanner case.
So how do we combat this phenomenon? By memorizing one line and repeating it until it echoes throughout every yeshiva, synagogue and Jewish institution: "Sorry, Rabbi, it's not OK."
It's not OK to create organization to stand in between sexual-abuse victims and the professionals who are trained and ready to help them.
It's not OK to vilify those who have dedicated their lives to helping survivors or to silence those who speak out on their behalf.
It's not OK to convene ad hoc rabbinical tribunals in order to devise guidelines unfounded in science, law or religion to "solve" the problem.
It's not OK, Rabbi Stav or Rabbi Ariel or whoever gets this job, to maintain the status quo. There is only one reason not to go to the authorities, and that is to protect the abusers. The choice should be clear, g'dolim.