Airdate: Breaking the Silence


Tomorrow night ABC airs a powerful one hour Compass special Breaking the Silence, again looking at sexual abuse within Melbourne’s Jewish community and the fight by Manny Waks to bring his abusers to justice.

What is most remarkable is the ongoing cover-up within the community, now called before the Royal Commission.

Narrated by Geraldine Doogue.

This is the dramatic sequel to the Walkley Award winning Compass special of 2014 Code of Silence. The sequel begins with Manny Waks as he gives evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, during which two ultra-Orthodox Jewish institutions are accused of covering-up and protecting perpetrators in the 1980s and 90s.

Over two explosive weeks inside Melbourne’s County Court, viewers will witness, for the first time, those rabbis and officials accused of the cover-ups take the stand and be grilled. For the first time, it is also revealed that Manny was not the only member of the family who was abused.

The Royal Commission also hears from another abuse victim (known as ‘AVB’) who was abused in Melbourne and Sydney. AVB has maintained the Ultra-Orthodox religious faith and wants to stay inside the tight-knit ultra-Orthodox community. If he reveals himself, he fears he will suffer the same shunning as the Waks family. In the fallout of the Royal Commission some of Australia’s most senior rabbis fall on their swords and resign.

After the hearings, Manny travels to the United States to confront one of the two men who he claims abused him. The film’s climax follows Manny to Los Angeles, where he meets a convicted paedophile who was given a suspended sentence for abusing AVB in Sydney in the 1980s. It’s a powerful moment between victim and abuser that delivers an unexpected conclusion.
Short synopsis

Follow Australian Jew Manny Waks, as he witnesses the dramatic hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, before he travels to the U.S & confronts one of the two men he claims abused him.

Producer: Dan Goldberg, Director: Danny Ben-Moshe, Narrator: Geraldine Doogue, Compass Series Producer: Jessica Douglas-Henry and ABC Commissioning Editor: Andrea Ulbrick. Breaking the Silence is a Mint Pictures and Identity Films Production.

9;30pm Tuesday on ABC.

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