LOCAL HOTLINE FOR WOMEN: +972-3-5176176
NATIONAL HOTLINE FOR MEN: +972-3-5179179
NATIONAL HOTLINE FOR RELIGIOUS MEN: +972-2-5328000
NATIONAL HOTLINE FOR WOMEN: 1202 • NATIONAL HOTLINE FOR MEN: 1203
The Crisis Center’s main service is its 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Hotline for Women. The Hotline for Men, which is the only such line for men in Israel, is also staffed 7 days a week. In 2003, the Center opened a designated Hotline for Religious Men and Youth operating 5 days a week from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
All three hotlines provide immediate emotional, “lending an ear” assistance, tailored to the caller’s specific needs. We provide basic information and assistance to survivors of sexual assault as well as to their families or significant others, which can be of any type and of any degree of severity.
The Center is providing trained accompaniment with any survivor to the hospital if necessary. Since less than 15% of survivors who reach out to the center file police reports and since the process of doing so can cause further trauma, the Center has created a program that sends accompaniment with the survivor not only to the police station to fill out a police report, but also to speak with attorneys and to court if deemed necessary. The person sent to accompany is trained to help the survivor and provide assistance and recommendations at every step along the way.
Oftentimes survivors experience difficulties trying to navigate the seemingly endless hurdles that they encounter when seeking aid. For this reason, the Center provides case management by staff and social work student interns so as to help the survivor in as holistic a manner as possible. Case management assists the survivor as they reaches out to and maneuvers through various governmental services, communal bodies, non-profits and care providers. For example: Bituach L’eumi (National Social Security Administration), the Ministry of Welfare, local municipal welfare bureaus, hospitals, physicians, mental health centers, psychiatric facilities etc. These advocacy and support services have proven time and again to be crucial in aiding survivors on their path to recovery.
Individual face-to-face meetings empower survivors, providing them with the chance to open up to live crisis counselor about their trauma in a supportive, safe environment. Survivors interested in meeting with Center support staff on a one-on-one basis are invited to sessions with a volunteer crisis hotline worker, social work student or staff counselor. We decide on the staffing assignment based on the complexity of the case. These meetings have been reported to be mutually beneficial for both volunteers as well as survivors. Volunteers have noted that these meetings help them to develop their counseling and professional manner while survivors find a confidante that they can trust and share with. In complex cases, we make sure to reach out and coordinate with other communal support systems or counselors from other institutions. Additionally, we provide individual support for loved ones of survivors in order to help them to process the secondary trauma that they may be experiencing as well as offer them tools to help survivors.
Support groups provide a secure setting for survivors who may have continuing problems with interpersonal relationships and trust to process the trauma and speak with others who have undergone similar experiences. It is all the more necessary to give these survivors the opportunity to speak openly because of the stigma attached to sexual violence, and the great lengths to which they may go to avoid talking about what they have experienced. Participants can identify with one another's feelings of guilt and shame, and feel a validation of their own experiences in discovering that others have gone through similar hardships. The goal is to help them move on to the next level of healing whether it be regaining their trust in other human beings, improving their ability to form intimate relationships, or reintegrating into the community and workforce. Survivors feel empowered in two crucial ways: by the support they receive from fellow participants, and by the opportunity they have to help other survivors in return.
Each group was tailored to best fit the distinct needs of the particular group members and consists of between 15 to 47 meetings depending on the nature of the group. We have found through research and the Center’s field experience that this amount of meetings enables participants to maximize the extensive benefits of the group as well as giving them enough time to undergo the deep therapeutic work that serves as an essential step in processing the trauma that they endured. In order to make it convenient for participants, we hosted these groups at the Center as well as in local communal settings.
These are some of our customized support groups:
- Survivors of childhood incest or sexual abuse
- Adult female survivors
- Adult male survivors
- Homosexual male survivors
- Survivors of multiple-assaults
- Survivors who struggle with substance abuse
- Survivors who are currently active duty military
- Survivors who are currently prisoners in Neve Tirza Prison
- Survivors who are having difficulty coping with activities of daily living
- Support for mothers of survivors
- Support groups for police who have experienced secondary trauma
- Support groups for district attorneys who have experienced secondary trauma
- An innovative group for survivors that combines therapeutic group process with yoga
Group work is most effective when done in tandem with individual psychological counseling. Unfortunately, many survivors cannot afford the high cost of private mental health counseling services and the subsidized treatment, through public or NGO clinics, have a very long waiting list due to the limited spots available. After years of watching survivors struggle as they were unable to get the counseling, we decided that the Center should to take steps to help survivors to get the individual therapy that they so desperately needed. For this reason, the Center began subsidizing individual therapy and psychiatric evaluations for survivors in order to enable them to receive treatment at highly reduced fees.