Coping with the experience of sexual assault or violence is not easy. There is no reason to go through it alone – we are here to help.
In this section you will find information about how to cope with this experience, including information about all of the institutions, organizations and treatment centers you can turn to at any point – from the moment of the assault to years after.View items...
In this section you will find the most up to date statistics from the ARCCI as well as other authorities taken from the 2014 annual report. Every year, on November 25th – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, ARCCI publishes yearly statistics about sexual abuse and calls made to the rape crisis centers and other authorities.
Sexual violence is a common phenomenon in Israeli society. Despite its frequency, it is still kept silent in the public sphere. The last few years have seen a rise in awareness on the topic of sexual abuse and harassment; however it is a crime with a very low percentage of incident reports. This is for a variety of reasons, the main reason being that we live in a society that tends to blame the victim, which causes them feelings of shame and humiliation preventing them from reporting the incident.
Sexual abuse is sexual behavior or a sexual act forced upon a woman, man or child without their consent. Sexual abuse includes abuse of a woman, man or child by a man, woman or child. Sexual abuse is an act of violence which the attacker uses against someone they perceive as weaker than them. It does not come from an uncontrollable sex drive, but is a crime committed deliberately with the goal of controlling and humiliating the victim.
Sexual assault almost always refers to violence against women only. Weakness, vulnerability and passiveness are considered feminine and thus are often interpreted as contradictory to the nature of men. Therefore, it is hard for us as a society to understand the possibility that a man can be a victim of sexual violence.
The sexual abuse of children is usually a recurring abuse by someone the child knows. Children usually have difficulty telling about the abuse and sometimes do not even know how to describe it, and thus surrounding adults – parents, teachers, etc., play a big role in exposing the abuse. Like in other situations, your degree of familiarity with the child will help you notice if they are in distress. Sharp mood changes or inability to function signify distress (not just sexual abuse), which requires further examination.
Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience which can affect your daily life making it more difficult. Turning to professionals for emotional support is likely to help you process the experience by rebuilding your trust of others and coping daily with reality after abuse.
After being sexually abused, you may experience symptoms such as sleep disorders, fear of leaving the house, difficulty concentrating, confusion, anxiety, depression and stress. Sometimes this difficulty is due to the fact that the abuse took place in the victim's place of work.
For up to a week after sexual assault, you can receive medical assistance from a number of hospitals which have centers dedicated to the treatment of victims of sexual assault (for a complete list, see below). The centers operate 24 hours a day, and have an experienced and professional staff that are trained to provide the appropriate treatment, with care and sensitivity, and will answer your needs as a victim of sexual assault.
In Israel there are nine rape crisis centers who provide free assistance to women and men who experienced sexual assault and need guidance and support. Our assistance hotlines are operated by hundreds of volunteers across Israel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is important to know – you are not alone – throughout every step of the process the rape crisis centers are there to support you. Experienced volunteers are available 24 hours a day to listen and give emotional support while protecting your privacy.