I recently heard an inspiring sermon from a Rabbi, who rightfully declared there is a moral requirement for every individual who witnesses an injustice to stand up and speak out.
These past several weeks, our society has been rocked by terrible injustices. As a mom of four young children, it is my duty to teach them the importance of speaking up when seeing a wrong.
That wrong can take many forms. Whether it’s a Black man with a knee on his neck or a friend being abused at home who won’t seek help. We have a responsibility to stand up and help, especially if they can’t or won’t step up for themselves.
A few years ago, a sexual offender convicted of child molestation moved into The Point in Aventura. As soon as this became known, my phone started ringing with calls from neighbors who were scared and upset that a convicted sex offender was living amongst our children and us. I immediately contacted his probation officer to alert them that this sexual offender was living inside the statutorily defined limits of a playground and/or school. The officials forced the man to relocate outside of our community and our city.
This week I saw a post on Facebook by a mother warning others about a nanny who physically mistreated and hurt her baby. I messaged the mother and pleaded with her to report the incident to the police. I offered my legal services for free and assured her that I would be with her each step of the way. I said to her, “We cannot ignore this. We cannot look the other way when children are involved.”
According to researcher and attorney Maclen Stanley, since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in sexual abuse, child abuse, and spousal abuse cases. Many more cases are going unreported as children are not in school and socializing.
If we ever suspect someone is a victim of abuse, we must stand up and speak out, even if the law does not require it. In Florida, it is not legally mandatory for everyone to report suspected child abuse through the Florida Abuse Hotline. However, for all of us, it should be a moral requirement.
Whether we are talking about social injustice or allowing an abuser to live amongst us, we must remember what the Rabbi says:
“If you do not take a stand, you will create a world where evil rules… Standing up for the right thing requires courage. It’s not just about being a good person, but it’s about being courageous.”
I urge you to click here and listen to Rabbi Forta from the Aventura Chabad’s sermon starting at 8:10.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any form of Domestic Violence, you can safely contact the Florida Abuse Hotline by calling 1-800-962-2873 or clicking here to visit their website.
As your next Aventura Commissioner, I will always stand up for what is right, even when it is difficult.
“Stand up for what is right in life. Have courage.”
Sincerely, Rachel Friedland
Standing Against Injustice