(photo credit: screenshot)
A new crowdfunding campaign is calling on the public to donate funds to counter the policies of police commissioner Roni Alsheich regarding sexual assault.
The campaign, a clever play on words that can mean both “Alsheich worries me” and “Alsheich is harassing me,” is seeking to raise NIS 400,000 to combat sexual assault in the police force.
The funds collected will go toward launching a public awareness campaign and enlisting legal assistance to aid women who were sexually harassed by police officers.
The campaign also aims to assist the legal fight against reinstating police officer Roni Ritman, head of Lahav 433, who was accused of sexual harassment. Alsheich decided to reinstate Ritman, despite the charges.
Hannah Albag, a social activist participating in the campaign, said it is “inconceivable that at the head of the body responsible for enforcing the law will stand an officer who allegedly broke the law of sexual harassment and a police chief who whitewashes and protects him.”
She said that the police commissioner’s policy is a backward one. “Instead of dealing with sex offenders under his command, he is promoting officers who have admitted to sexual harassment and tries to fight the victims instead of the offenders.”
“The campaign expresses the interest of the public in preventing sexual harassment and reflects the public need of men and women alike to have a police force with officers who are not corrupt,” she added.
The past few years have seen a number of high-profile police officers accused and indicted for sexual harassment. Since taking office, rather than combating the phenomenon, Alsheich has promoted and reinstated police officers who were found guilty of sexual harassment.
The video accompanying the campaign features numerous women who state that it is of concern that the police, who are supposed to protect women from sexual harassment, have “become part of the problem.”
The video accuses the police force of enabling a culture that discourages female police officers from complaining against sexual harassment for fear that they will be singled out and suffer consequences.
The women in the video added that sexual assault is a problem within the police force today, but tomorrow it can happen to any woman.
Social activist Adi Peled, who is also participating in the campaign, said that Alsheich is a “leader of unacceptable norms.”
“The fight against sexual harassment and the support of the few brave women who complain of harassment are important, especially when it comes to the police, the body responsible for the observance of the law,” she said.
Peled called on the public to contribute to “clean up the police culture of sexual harassment.”