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To Report or Not To Report?

If there was a magical vision that an offender has and will continue to abuse, or if there was a magical vision that an offender will never again abuse, it would make answering the question easier.

However, in the between, there are many opinions ranging from everyone should always be reported and nobody ever stops, to nobody should be reported and everyone can be helped. Similarly, some believe offenders need to be punished for having hurt another person, and some believe the hurt person will easily heal on their own. In the extreme, some victims loose all meaning of life and become suicidal, making the offender a murderer (רודף), whom Halacha says should be killed.

Having personally been through the legal system, my experience is that on some level the government is beneficial, in removing the offender from the victim, and on another level the government is a system that works with rules that allow little input from therapists who can recommend specific interventions for a particular situation.

Pirkei Avos (3:2) says, "One should daven for the shalom of the kingdome, for without it, a man would eat another alive". The word shalom which usually is interpreted as peace, and also mean "wholesomeness". Perhaps the Mishna is saying that while no system can work for everyone, if it is wholesome it can be more precisely give judgment appropriate to the case specifics.

In conclusion, if someone is aware of a past offense, careful consideration should be taken of the danger to the victim , while also assessing if the situation warrants government intervention.

In the original Hebrew: רַבִּי חֲנִינָא סְגַן הַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי מִתְפַּלֵּל בִּשְׁלוֹמָהּ שֶׁל מַלְכוּת, שֶׁאִלְמָלֵא מוֹרָאָהּ, אִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ חַיִּים בְּלָעוֹ


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