Photo: Visual Photos
Illustration photo
Photo: Visual Photos

Rise in number of women complaining of violence

Rape crisis center officials say verdict in Katsav trial encouraged many victims to come forward, but phenomenon still rampant

Some 40,000 Israeli women complained of violence, assault or sexual harassment in 2010 – marking a 16% increase from 2009, according to data published by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers (ARCC) on Sunday ahead of a Knesset debate on the issue this week.


Some 25% of the complainants reported of ongoing abuse by the same person. According to crisis centers and the police, many women who have been subjected to violence or sexual assault don't file complaints due to fear, shame or lack of trust in the system. Therefore, the actual number of victims is believed to be much higher.


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The ARCC also published data from January 2011 - about a month after former President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape – in which a record high of 873 complaints were lodged with the organization, compared with an average of 650 complaints a month in previous years.


"(Rape) victims fear that no one will believe their story, and the fact that the court believed the complainant in the Katsav trial has emboldened other women," said Liv Egozi, the director of a rape crisis center in Haifa said.


According to the data, 42% of complaints involve rape or attempted rape, while 6% relate to group rape. Almost a quarter of the complainants reported acts involving incest, some 18% of the complaints relate to sexual harassment at the workplace or in the army and about a tenth complained of indecent acts.


The survey reveals a grim picture of children and teen abuse – some 67% of victims who turned to crisis centers were attacked before reaching the age of 18. Some 34% of complaints filed in 2010 involved sexual attacks that occurred during childhood, when the complainants were under the age of 12.


ARCC Executive Director Michal Rozin commented on the findings, saying: "The data published annually show the helplessness of society in defeating the phenomenon of sexual violence.


"Decision-makers and those in charge of our safety must act determinately to safeguard people from sexual assault, which carries severe ramifications for individuals as well as for society at large."



פרסום ראשון: 11.21.11, 00:40
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