Response to article by Niscala dasi
Posted June 2, 2005
In an article by Niscala dasi entitled "The Subject of Justified Concern...." posted May 30th, the author says:
Malati Prabhu seems very concerned about the "inaccuracies" in the report on child abuse in New Vrindavan. What those inaccuracies are, it seems neither the author nor the rest of us mothers deserve to know.
Of course, if we were to take Malati Prabhu's warning seriously, we should stop reporting altogether.
I am perplexed as to what prompts the author to this conclusion? New Vrindaban reported to the local officials as well as ISKCON Child Protection Office four and a half months before the Mother came forward. In fact, this report was filed against the written and spoken wishes of the Mother. At the time of our report, she had given no names and there were various versions of the story. We came forward out of deep concern yet we had no evidence at all, no names of suspects, not even a statement from the alleged victim herself. Although we took the allegations seriously, we had nothing to offer to the local authorities by way of evidence or proof that anything had even occured. All we had to go by was statements from the Mother that were in themselves inconsistent (the number of alledged perpetrators changed several time, for example). In addition, the girl had relocated out of state, making it impossible for authorities to pursue the case (no victim, no names perps,etc).
When the alleged perpetrators were finally named, it was found that one was the Mother's former boyfriend (who often stayed at their home and was given a one way Greyhound Bus ticket out of town paid for by the mother); one was a person who had lived in NV but due to entirely unrelated issues; had been asked to leave the previous year, one was a person who lived six or seven miles away from the Temple rarely visited, and had relocated out of state the previous year; and another was a 67 year old little man who had returned to India. He later showed up unexpectedly and immediately left to his relatives upon being informed that he must vacate the premise. Had we known how to contact him, we would have told him by advance not to come back to NV. At this point, we do not know the actual location of any of these suspects. Neither do authorities.
The allegations of any "cover-up" by any New Vrindaban authority is completely false. There are other inconsistencies, which out of respect for the family, I prefer not to discuss on this forum.
Anyone with concern for helping prevent child abuse in ISKCON or helping those who have experienced abuse may help by contributing to the Child Protection Office (email@example.com) or Children of Krishna (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by contacting Anuttama's office (AD@pamho.net or call 301-299-9707) for further information. (As a GBC servant, I make yearly contributions to both organizations as well as other volunteer efforts).
Thank you, Malati dasi