מיקום המרפאה: רחוב לוינסקי 108, בתוך התחנה המרכזית החדשה, בקומה 5 (מעל קווי דן 4,5)

Sexual Assault

In recent years, there have been increasing reports in the media about sexual crimes: rape, assault, harassment, incest and more. It is difficult to say whether there has been an increase in the actual number of crimes or whether there has been an increase in the number of complaints compared to previous years.

From our point of view, we can only hope that the public debate on the issue will encourage victims of sexual assault to stand up for their basic rights and report and file a complaint with the police. Just like in the case of any other crime, in sexual assault often the victim has no control or ability to prevent the assault. However, unlike other crimes, sometimes after a sexual assault the victims are overwhelmed with guilt, strong self-criticism and shame and they refrain from reporting and complaining. They are silent. Let’s help them make their voices heard.

What exactly is sexual assault and/or assault?

This is how the UN defines sexual violence: “Any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or any other action directed against another person’s sexuality and is committed by the use of force, by any person regardless of the nature of the relationship with the victim, in any environment (the perpetrator may be a stranger or a familiar person). This violence also includes rape, defined as forceful physical penetration or coercion into the vagina or anus with a penis, other part of the body or with an object.”

The Association of Centers for Assistance to Victims of Sexual Assault adds: “Sexual assault is an act of violence that is perpetrated against someone who is perceived as weaker. It is not an uncontrollable sexual urge, but a crime committed consciously, in order to control and humiliate the victim.”

The definitions clearly describe a huge human tragedy that can happen to any woman, man, boy or girl, regardless of religion, race and socio-economic status. This is a crisis after which life will not look the same, but after this crisis it is possible to get up and grow. In Israel there are quite a few organizations that provide help and support for free.

“Maybe I could have prevented it”?

The feeling of shame and guilt among victims of sexual assault is very common, however it is extremely unjustified. Victims of sexual assault are not guilty, their behavior was not the cause of the sexual assault. Sexual assault is entirely the fault of the perpetrator, and only he is to blame for it.

Each person reacts differently to an incident, some suffer from shock, confusion and fear. There are those who deny or suffer from extreme numbness. Those who have been sexually abused will need a lot of emotional support, so it is recommended to contact people who can support and not express criticism or judgment. Even if it has been a long time since the assault, it is still possible and recommended to get help, it is never too late. More important information can be found here.

If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, you can help by listening and offering support. You can also accompany them to the assistance centers, the police station, the hospital, etc. Be sure to remind them that the assault is not their fault and that it is natural to feel anger and shame. 

Emergency hotlines for victims of sexual assault (Active 24 hours a day 7 days a week)

Women: 1202 | Men: 1203 | Arab Women: 04-6566813 | Religious Women: 02-6730002 | Religious Men: 02-5328000

How common is it in Israel?

Unfortunately, sexual assault is very common in Israeli society, according to data from the Association of Centers for Assistance to Victims of Sexual Assault:

One in three women is sexually assaulted during her lifetime.

  • 1 in 7 women is raped
  • 1 in 6 girls goes through incest
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually assaulted
  • At young ages the percentage of male victims is similar to the percentage of female victims.
  • In 95% of the reported cases the attacker is a man. In 85% of the reported cases, the victim is a girl or woman.
  • Over 85% of all sexual assault cases are committed by a person known to the victim, Including family members, friends/acquaintances, teachers, therapists, colleagues, principals, etc.

How many are reported in the country?

Data from the Association of Centers for Assistance to Victims of Sexual Assault show that (general data for 2015):

In 2014, 40,000 inquiries reached the aid centers. Of these, 8,938 were new inquiries. This is an increase of 3.5% compared to the number of cases in the previous year. 13% of the cases that reached the aid centers were reported to the police.

By gender:

  • 3% of the reports were about harm to women and girls
  • 5% of the reports were about harm to men and boys

By age:

  • 1% in adults
  • 9% of referrals reported harm to minors (up to age 18)

By type of assault:

  • The most common assault is rape and attempted rape – 34% of all reports
  • 24% of the reports are about sexual assault by a close family member (incest)
  • 13% of the reports are about an indecent act
  • 12% of the reports are about sexual harassment at work
  • 9% of the reports are about sexual harassment
  • 5% of the reports are about group assault

Is it common in the world as well?

Data collected from over 80 countries around the world by the World Health Organization, WHO, indicate that 35% of women have suffered physical and/or sexual abuse from their partner or have suffered sexual abuse from a person who is not their partner.

Worldwide, almost a third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced sexual and/or physical violence by their partner, in some parts of the world the percentages are even higher. In addition, 38% of all homicides of women in the world are committed by their spouses.

The chances that young people aged 12-17 may experience sexual assault are three times higher than the chances of adults (National Crime Victimization Survey, 2000).

Spouse sexual violence is most often perpetrated by men against women, but child sexual abuse affects both boys and girls. International studies indicate that 20% of women and 5-10% of men report being victims of sexual exploitation, as children. Violence among young people, Including violent dating, has also become a dimensional problem.

In 2000, the FBI announced that every five minutes a report of rape was received in the United States. A study by the US Department of Justice found that 1 in 6 women in the United States had experienced attempted rape or rape. At the time of the rape, 22% were under 12 years old. 54% of them were under the age of 18. 83% were under the age of 25. In the same study it was found that 1 in 33 men experienced sexual assault.

 

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