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Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center
Who Are We

Welcome to the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center

  • For the women's hotline: call 1202 or 03-517-6176
  • For the men's and boys' hotline: call 1203 or 03-517-9179
  • For the religious men's hotline: call 02-532-8000

All of the Centerís hotlines provide immediate emotional assistance as well as basic information to survivors of sexual assault of any type and of any degree of severity.

 

Mission

 

Sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse are horrific social phenomena, leaving deep emotional scars on women, men and children who have survived them. Yet throughout society, cutting across all social strata, silence surrounds the topic of sexual assault and abuse. Many victims of sexual assault feel isolated and ashamed and do not disclose their experience of sexual assault. Many encounter ongoing difficulties in their lives as partners and parents.

 

Our mission is:

1) To encourage awareness of the subject and support of survivors.

2) To help survivors reclaim their lives and let go of the guilt that so often follows sexual assault and abuse.

The guiding philosophy of Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center can be summarized in four main principles:

  • Sexual assault is not sex - it is a criminal act and a violent crime
  • The victim is never the guilty party
  • There is no room for a judgemental attitude toward victims
  • Center volunteers and callers/visitors are equal in status

One of the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Centerís primary aims is to reach those populations and communities of women and men who would not, under normal circumstances, come forward. We constantly aim to widen the scope of our services and activities and to fine-tune them to fit the needs of as many survivors as possible.

 

Our vision for the future encompasses reaching out to sexual assault victims/survivors who are less likely to contact us by finding ways to enter into "closed" communities such as the ultra-orthodox, kibbutzim, and Arab Muslim, Christian, and Druze groups, as well as additional immigrant sectors.

 

History

 

The Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center, initially called the Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center, was founded in 1978 by the Tel Aviv branch of the Israel Feminist Movement, evolving in 1982 into an independent, fully accredited, non-profit organization. Currently, there are 11 additional Sexual Assault /Rape Crisis Centers operating in various locations in the country. The Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center was the first such entity in Israel and remains the largest, offering the most services. From the beginning, it was recognized that the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center has several roles:

  • Providing immediate services to women and men in crisis
  • Raising awareness
  • Initiating social change through extensive programming

The Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Centerís main service is its 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Hotline for Women. The Hotline for Men, established in 1990, is the only such hotline for men in Israel. A designated Hotline for Religious Men and Youth was opened in 2003. A Russian speaking New Immigrant Hotline is on call when needed.

 

In the past few years, the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center has handled over 11 000 calls annually, which is approximately 1/3 of all calls received by all the Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centers in Israel.

 

The population served by the Tel Aviv Center is approximately 1.2 million, some 18% of the entire population of Israel.

 

People

 

The Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center is directed by an elected 7-member Board of Directors. Financial and operational oversight is conducted by an elected 3-member Oversight Committee. The organization's 200 volunteers elect from among themselves the Center's officers on the basis of criteria set forth in the organization's charter. The Executive Director and 12-member professional staff manage the day-to-day administration and provide professional support for the Centerís diverse services and activities.

 

Volunteers at the Center have several main avenues of participation: staffing the Hotlines; fundraising; raising awareness; and engaging in the Education Departmentís broad outreach program to junior and senior high schools, boarding schools, the army, places of employment, and other sectors. They can also volunteer for information and library activities, organizing public events, and more.

Volunteer professionalism and well-being are crucial to our organization's success. Volunteers take 11 000 hotline calls per year, facilitate over 1 000 workshops per year, and have escorted over 2 000 victims of sexual violence through the legal process to date. Crisis volunteers, including all hotline volunteers, must be prepared to work with individuals in states of extreme emotional distress. We want our volunteers to serve effectively in their roles without compromising their own well-being, and so we provide intensive training. All volunteers and staff members must participate in a 21-week training program. We then offer continued training for specialized volunteers on specific subjects, including accompanying victims to the police and throughout the criminal process, sexual assault in specific populations (religious, recently immigrated, and undocumented workers), and the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. Volunteers must regularly attend supervision sessions and are supported in their work by professional staff.

 

We highly value our volunteers and take pride in the Centerís supportive atmosphere. Volunteers who join the Center have the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on sexual assault and its implications as well a chance for introspection, reflection, and growth.

 

Awards & Accomplishments

 

Awards the Center and its volunteers have received include:

  • President's Appreciation Prize from Tel Aviv University
  • Volunteer Badge from the President of Israel
  • Volunteer Badge from the Ministry of Health
  • Mayor's Badge for Volunteer Excellence from the Tel Aviv Municipality
  • Leonore & Larry Zusman JDC Price for Excellence in the Field of Social Services in Israel

Accomplishments at the Center include:

  • Education awareness campaigns that have reached over 100 000 teens, women, and men from all sectors of Israeli society: Jews and Arabs, men and women, native Israelis and immigrants, secular and religious
  • Successful passage of several legislative inistiatives, including both the law prohibiting verbal and physical sexual assault in the workplace and declaring workplace management responsible for prevent and treatment of any such abuse and the law changing legal status of a victim/survivor during the trial to one that obliges the court to update the victim/survivor about the trial and its outcome
  • A two-year academic program in partnership with Bar Ilan University to train psychotherapists to treat sexual assault victims
  • ďKnow Your Rights,Ē a published manual and a poster. The poster was distributed to all police stations and hospitals in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area. Both contain detailed information regarding the rights of sexual assault victims, beginning with the physical examination in a hospital, throughout the police investigation, and concluding with the criminal trial
  • Strong partnerships with organizations for the mentally disabled, with the military, and in prisons to raise awareness, make environments safer, and to train staff to prevent abuse and handle reports of abuse
  • Maintaining a high profile in the President Moshe Katsav rape case, which began with an organized demonstration of 40 000 people, and then came out in support of the victims, ending in conviction

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