The two reports, the first penned by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers as part of UN Universal Children's Day, and the second a WIZO report, published in anticipation of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women revealed unnerving data regarding sexual assaults and domestic violence in Israel.
- Study: Half of Israeli children experienced abuse or neglect
- Suspicion: Famous singer had sex with 15-year-old girl
- Rabbi charged with abusing wife, kids
According to both of the reports, only a fifth of those who request assistance from sexual assault centers file a police report. More disturbingly, a solid majority of those complaints fail to crystallize as a police investigation, and those that do are usually shut for lack of evidence.
Regarding sexual harassment, out of 216 cases led by State prosecutors last year, no less than 135 were closed.
Out of the 40,000 appeals for assistance the centers registered in 2012, only 7,700 were new and 88% of all those reported were women – conversely, 12% were men.
In general, possibly as result of low prosecution rates, only 17% of those who reported to the centers lodged a complaint with the police. More irksome was the fact that only 12% of sexual predators were unknown to their victims, with the majority being acquaintances, friends or family.
Orit Sulitzeanu, CEO of the Israeli Association for Rape Crisis Centers, said: "This data indicates that as a society we must internalize that sexual attacks are a social disease which harms many children."
Regarding sexual attacks, the association said that "we must send a clear message, breaking the vicious circle of silence and shame which surrounds sexual attack by supporting every woman or man who complains."
Knesset Member Eliza Levi (Yesh Atid), who heads the Knesset's Committee on the Status of Women, said that "this disturbing data points to a social disaster and places a mirror before Israeli society, revealing the overwhelming violence plaguing our society."
MK Levi further added that "the State must take responsibility and form a national cross-ministry agency together with the relevant partners in a bid to prevent sexual violence and give numerous victims better assistance."
MK Orly Levi-Abukasis (Yisrael Beiteinu), who heads the Knesset's Committee on Children's Rights said that "the data paints a horrible picture of sexual abuse of minors in proportions yet not known, and as such is a social catastrophe that must be stopped.
The assistance centers' hotline number are 1202 for women and 1203 for men
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop