Sexual Assault in Israel—On the Rise

Sexual assault crisis centers in Israel took 21,000 calls in the first nine months of 2004, Ruth Sinai reports in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. Nearly 5,600 of the calls were initial appeals from women reporting they had been raped or sexually assaulted in some other manner.

Sinai’s piece continues: “More than one-third of the victims—some 36 percent—were assaulted when they were under the age of 12. Around a quarter were attacked during adolescence…. Men accounted for about 14 percent of the calls, and the number of men appealing for help continues to rise.

“As in past years, some 40 percent of this year’s female victims were assaulted in their homes, 11 percent were assaulted in the attacker’s residence, and the rest in schools, universities and places of employment. Only a small portion of the assaults occurred in public spaces. According to the latest data, 22 percent of all of those who made reports to the crisis centers also filed police complaints and pursued criminal proceedings against their attackers—double the number before the crisis centers’ association launched a legal assistance project.

“However, as in other countries, it is estimated that only 10 percent of sexual assault victims in Israel turn to crisis centers.”