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.
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.
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.
Filing a report with the police is your choice alone. The process of filing a report can be long and complicated and therefore you can, at any time, request to be accompanied by a volunteer from your local rape crisis center.
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.
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.
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 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.