Cover art for In Bad Faith
Hachette Australia, January 2024
Softcover, 368 pages
23.5cm × 15.4cm × 3.2cm

In Bad Faith Inside a secret ultra-Orthodox sect and the brutal betrayal it tried to hide

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This powerful memoir gives extraordinary insight into a secretive sect, and the horror Dassi Erlich had to survive. Dassi's resilience and fight for justice is inspiring.

As a young girl growing up in a strict ultra-Orthodox family, Dassi's life was preordained - marry young, live a devout life and raise children within the Adass community's religious rules. This righteous path would keep her safe from the immodest, secular world just a few blocks away in suburban Melbourne.

But the Adass community was not safe for Dassi.

She was fifteen when her revered school principal, Malka Leifer, started to single her out. Dassi's cloistered and harsh upbringing meant she didn't have the words for what was happening to her, but she knew it was very, very wrong. It would take her years to break free of the secrecy which pervaded the community and tell the police of her betrayal. And only then would she find out others, including two of her sisters, had also been abused, and would learn some in the Adass community had helped Leifer flee to Israel. With the only world she knew crumbling around her, Dassi found the strength to fight, leading a brave fifteen-year campaign to bring Leifer back to face Australian courts.

This is Dassi's story.

'I am a sexual abuse survivor, but I am also more than a survivor. I will continue fighting for justice for all victims.'

'What a story . . . Heart-wrenching . . . What is remarkable about Dassi Erlich and her sisters is that somewhere they found the courage to confront what was going on, in their own lives and in other lives' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

'Raw and revealing . . . Beautifully written and eloquently sheds light on the dark times Dassi experienced, breaking down stigmas by openly discussing abuse and mental health' AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS

'Erlich has an exceptional voice, an openness and authority . . . Reading her life is an education. I read with fury, horror and shame. But admiration for the writer outshone everything' THE AGE

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