Emergency hotline for victims of sexual assault

1202: Women | 1203: Men

04-6566813: Arab Women | 02-6730002: Religious Women | 02-5328000: Religious Men
Open for calls 24 hours a day 7 days a week

Prevention & Education

WHY OUR PROGRAMS ARE SO NECESSARY?

Working with youth and raising their awareness of sexual assault, its causes, and its consequences serves three purposes:

  • To reduce and prevent acts of sexual violence through education and raising public awareness.
  • To facilitate change in prevailing attitudes, perceptions, and misconceptions regarding sexual assault.
  • To encourage teens who have suffered sexual assault to expose their victimization and seek help.

Prevention through education is a key way to accomplish our goals.  Many teens are unclear where their personal boundaries begin and end, what constitutes harassment or sexual violence, the true meaning of consent, and that there are places to turn if and when they suffer abuse.

Another primary mission of the Center is to reach victims of sexual assault in those populations and communities least likely to come forward, such as youth, religious women, and new immigrants.  Sixty percent of all sexual assaults are perpetrated against children and teens, yet only thirty percent of these assaults are reported immediately, or even within a reasonable amount of time to minimize damage to the victim.

Delay in reporting can result in much greater injury to the victim, since emotional damage, expressed both physically and psychologically, increases in direct proportion to the delay between the assault and its exposure and management. Left to fester, assault survivors often exhibit post-traumatic symptoms including sleep disorders, eating disorders, flashbacks, and even physical symptoms such as unexplained rashes, pains, and the like.

Teens and adolescents are at a stage in life in which they are grappling with self-esteem, self-awareness, and establishing norms of behavior. Dealing with sexual assault, a violent crime that shakes the victim's most fundamental assumptions of autonomy, control, and boundaries, is particularly difficult under these circumstances. Moreover, most teachers and staff who work with teens are not provided any specific training to recognize and help sexual assault victims.

In the religious sector the pressure to keep silent about sexual assault is particularly intense, given their relative isolation, maintenance of clear social boundaries, and homogeneous, community-oriented way of life. A girl raised in this environment is brought up to refrain from gossip.  "Informing" on someone is considered a grave sin. In addition, the self-imposed isolation of the community leads to problems being dealt with internally, rather than appealing to outside, trained, sources for assistance.

Similarly, new immigrants, particularly those from the former Soviet Union, are relatively isolated from the general population, have different cultural norms, and often lack faith in their new environment.

Throughout society, cutting across all social strata, a conspiracy of silence surrounds the topic of sexual assault and abuse.  We want to bring it into the light, to encourage people to explore and become aware of the subject. 

In response to these needs, the Center has created educational programs, including: 

  • Workshops in high schools and junior high schools for students and educational staff.
  • Interventions, at schools' request, to help students deal with the aftermath of incidents of sexual violence among their peers.
  • Long-term dynamic workshops for children and teens at-risk in hostels and boarding schools run by the Youth Protection Society, and for their professional staff.
  • Seminars and lectures at various institutions, such as the army, universities, etc.
  • Outreach to the religious and ultra-orthodox community.
  • Outreach to immigrants, largely young women and single mothers, from the former Soviet Union.
  • Workshops for the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Workshops to raise awareness for parents.

Program Goals 

  • To reduce and prevent acts of sexual violence through education and raising public awareness.
  • To encourage adolescents and teens who have suffered sexual assault to expose their victimization and seek help; to let them know there is an anonymous place to turn.
  • To facilitate change in prevailing attitudes, perceptions and misconceptions regarding sexual assault.
  • To help teens find behavioral alternatives, to enable positive communication, while protecting personal civil liberties.
  • To provide tools for teens to identify situations leading to sexual violence, and ways to cope.
  • To train teachers and school staff regarding the issues surrounding sexual assault, including identifying and treating victims.
  • To prevent sexual violence by raising awareness, exploring the definitions of  consent, harrassment, and sexual violence.
  • To teach youth to recognize and protect personal boundaries, and withstand peer pressure.
  • To support and assist professionals regarding vicarious trauma they suffer as a result of treating disadvantaged teenage girls and boys. 

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Our Activities

Activities in Tel-Aviv Sexual Assult Crisis Center.