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Malka Leifer Fit to Stand Trial

Malka Leifer is Mentally Fit to Stand Trial, but What About the Mental Well-being of the Victims?

It is concerning to note that repeated claims of poor mental health and depression have been the defence of Malka Leifer against extradition to stand trial in Australia, where she has been indicted on 74 charges of sexual abuse and rape during her tenure as Headmistress at a Melbourne school. The Jerusalem District Court ruled on 26 May 2020 that Ms Leifer indeed was fit to stand trial, which could renew the protracted extradition process in Australia.

While the emphasis on Malka Leifer’s well-being has been at the forefront of the proceedings, one has to ask, what about the mental well-being of the victims of the alleged abuse. Three women have been waiting for their chance to tell their story since 2008, when Malka Leifer fled Australia after the indictment, with her location unknown until located by the Israeli Police in 2014. To date Leifer has spent 6 years repeatedly delaying proceedings through her legal representatives, while the Australian authorities have pressed for her extradition to face trial in Australia.

For the victims of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, these tactics of delay are known to inflict repeated trauma upon what can already be a fragile mental state for those so betrayed as children. The pain does not go away, and the sense of betrayal by those in authority can be unfathomable.

Upon hearing of the ruling, Australian Attorney General, Christian Porter, has said that this is positive news coming out of the Jerusalem District Court, and expressed his wish that justice will ultimately be served in the process.

All of us at Koffels Solicitors & Barristers wish the victims of this case, every success in achieving their goal of having their story heard in a Court of Law, and the due process of that law carried out. The bravery, strength and tenacity of these three women is an inspiration to all the other silenced victims of abuse.

If you have been following this case, and felt the seeming futility of pursuing justice in a world that appears bereft of justice for the disenfranchised, times are changing. The voices of those previously silenced are now being heard, supported and compensated. The path trodden by those who have already successfully made this journey, is becoming clearer every day.

If you are suffering mental health issues as a result of abuse, we urge you to seek help from any of the excellent services available such as: Lifeline, Beyond Blue, and Blue Knot, to name just a few. They are there to help you.

If you are ready to seek compensation for what you have suffered, we hope you will contact us to talk it through. In the utmost confidentiality we will listen, understand and prosecute your case to achieve the award for which you are properly entitled. We are very different in our approach to other firms, and our unprecedented record of success has made us the benchmark in claims for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

If you or someone you know is living with the trauma of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, we urge you to seek professional help. Time shows us that these traumas of childhood live on into adulthood, and impact the victims and those around them over decades. It is important to know that there are those in the community who do stand up, do speak out, and do advocate for the protection of the vulnerable. If you choose to seek compensation speak to us and we will listen in the utmost confidence, and assist you wherever we can. Please do not hesitate to call Ross Koffel on 02 9283 5599 for assistance.

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