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


"Fear Not, for Thou Shalt Not be Ashamed" - Ultra-Orthodox Community Outreach

Referencing the Prophet Isaiah's words of comfort, the "Fear Not, for Thou Shalt Not be Ashamed" project approaches Haredi survivors, their family members and communities with compassion, respect and hope. The secrecy surrounding sexual violence is even more formidable among Haredim as this traditional society promotes complete trust in authority figures and censures "telling on" others. Reputation and respectability are prized, so survivors often wrestle with communal condemnation for ‘casting aspersions’ on their abuser as well as the consequences of being “damaged goods” regarding marriage. Reported incidents are lower than in the general population. Tragically, this does not reflect less sexual violence, rather the immense tensions involved and a policy of solving problems internally. While all sexual violence survivors are rendered vulnerable and disadvantaged due to the trauma they suffered, a dearth of culturally sensitive services combined with extreme social pressures makes empowering Haredi survivors all the more crucial. Years of fostering trust and developing innovative programming uniquely suited to holistically address the complex challenges that Haredi survivors face, this project is succeeding in ways that only a short time ago were unimaginable.

Pride Partnership: LGBTQ Community Outreach

LGBTQ rights in Israel have progressed significantly since the Knesset and Supreme Court began the process of setting ant-discrimination laws in place in the late 1980s. However, a history of systematic prejudice as well as a variety of ongoing societal struggles have led the homosexual community to feel distant from the Israeli mainstream. In the past, this distance has caused community members to feel less inclined to turn to mainstream organizations, including the Center, for assistance. In order to ensure that LGBTQ community has expanded access to our services and have the community's distinctive needs met, the Center created a partnership with The Pride Center of Tel Aviv. Geared for LGBTQ activists/Gay-leaders and provided in-depth training regarding sexual assault and abuse, the trainings are specially designed to address the particular issues unique to the LGBTQ community as well as to prepare participants to respond supportively in cases of assault, raise awareness within their community and give them comprehensive knowledge of the Center’s services so that they feel safe to turn to us for assistance. A strong fear of stigmatization due to preexisting societal prejudices has caused many LGBTQ community members to shy away from directly addressing this problem. However, despite this challenge our program graduates have truly begun making inroads within their community. We facilitated trainings for IGY (The Israeli LGBTQ Youth Organization), Yesh Im Mi Ledaber Hotline, Gag Ha'Varod Hostel and Agudah L'zchuyot Ha'LGBTQ rights NGO, which focused on the unique implications of sexual violence in the LGBTQ community. 

The Good Night Campaign

The Tel Aviv metropolitan region is known for its thousands of bars, clubs and restaurants that cater to its bustling nightlife scene.  Unfortunately, there has been a rise in incidents of sexual assault as this lively subculture has expanded. In reaction to this disturbing  trend,  a group of  community members - including clubbers, bar owners, club proprietors and staff members - approached the Center requesting help in dealing with this growing problem. In turn, the Center together with clubbers and club owners initiated an extensive community outreach and a large-scale public campaign. Through our work we have been  able to raise awareness of this issue  and take significant steps  to establish  preventative measures.  These measures  include trainings for  the bar/club staff  members  on how to address incidents sexual harassment and assault  as well as lectures at establishments throughout the area. Community members were so pleased with the results of our programming that they requested that the Center  help  them  to  draft  a  Code  of Ethics for owners and operators of Tel Aviv’s bar scene. This code obligates the signatories to make the necessary steps, which includes staff training through the Center, so that their nightclub environment is safe as well as to take the proper measures to deal with incidents of  sexual  harassment/assault  in  order  to  ensure that everyone can drink, dance and socialize freely without fear. Many high profile club, bar and restaurant owners have already signed the code and the Tel Aviv Municipality has come on board as a key project partner.

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The Audio-Visual Testimonies Project 

A few years ago, an 80-year-old woman contacted the Center. For the first time in her life, she told her story of being sexually assaulted as a child. “I can’t take this story with me to the grave,” she said. She wanted to lift the burden of this secret from her shoulders, and asked only for someone to listen. This incident inspired us to begin the Testimonies Project in order to help silenced survivors of sexual assault liberate themselves from their hidden traumas, and to include their voices in Israel’s collective story. The project is designed to help end the silence around sexual assault and allow victims to raise their voices and share their stories within a safe space. This initiative is important not only in its healing capacity but also has the added dimension of contributing to research and study in the field of sexual assault treatment. 




Advocating, Educating, Synergizing: The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rehabilitative Rights Project

Swift intervention and rehabilitative treatment are crucial in preventing highly impaired functioning and complex post- trauma (CPTSD). Tragically, until recently the primary source that survivors should be able to turn to for support, Bituach Le’umi, has been unfamiliar with the impact and implications of sexual assault. Bituach Leumi Israel' s ' Social Security', is a social policy pillar and qualifying for Bituach Leumi assistance is FUNDAMENTAL for Israelis accessing rehabilitation. Unfortunately, in order to receive the rights that survivors suffering from post- trauma are legally entitled to, these emotionally fragile women and men, have had to face a daunting bureaucratic process. Due to employees’ and medical committee members' lack of information regarding sexual trauma, survivors have often been denied their rights during their initial request for aid or miscatagorized as ineligible by medical committees.  The invalidating experiences that they endure have left many survivors feeling re- traumatized by the very system that is supposed to help them. This in turn delays or completely prevents survivors from getting the rehabilitative benefits and services that they desperately need. Despite challenges and bureaucratic hurdles, the Center has successfully created inroads within this key stakeholder in the rehabilitative process. Building these bridges has taken years of investment by the Center. However, witnessing the difference that the project is making for survivors shows that the many years spent cultivating those connections were well spent. Now a survivor standing before a medical committee has an advocate to explain what is often confusing professional jargon; to open access to information regarding unfamiliar processes; to guide her/him through the bureaucracy so as to make it a more efficient and less draining process; to give support as the survivor advocates for the rights that she/ he needs. At its core, the accompaniment transforms the otherwise intimidating, institutional, bureaucratic process into a step towards healing - humanizing it.

The micro aspect of this project offers one-on-one accompaniment services for individual survivors with specially trained volunteers who emotionally support survivors and help them navigate the system. Additionally, this groundbreaking project is generating macro-level, systemic change for survivors via nurturing an institutional shift for Israel's largest providers of rehabilitative services.

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