Program launched to combat sex abuse

Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes teamed up with prosecutors, community counselors and religious leaders in the Orthodox Jewish community Wednesday to launch an outreach program for victims of sexual abuse.

According to Hynes, there has been a recent surge in instances of sexual abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community, but many cases go unreported because of guilt, fear, shame and stigma. Police say they are currently investigating 19 cases of sexual abuse, some with multiple victims, within Borough Park, Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Flatbush.

In his announcement, Hynes said the outreach program will visit yeshivas and synagogues to educate community members about their options. The program features a hotline, 718-250-3000, that victims can call to talk with counselors and work with prosecutors if they desire.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind is one part of the team working on the outreach program. Hikind has recently addressed the issue of sexual abuse and asked victims to come forward.

One member of the ultra-Orthodox community told News 12 Brooklyn the sexual abuse problem is being blown out of proportion and that there are only a few, isolated incidents.

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