Calls to rape hotlines up after Rabbi Elon conviction

Crisis center head: Ruling of “immense importance in breaking silence surrounding... sexual assault in the religious community.”

August 9, 2013 05:22

Haredim making phone calls 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel reported a significant increase Thursday in the number of calls to its hotlines for religious men and women, following the Wednesday conviction of Rabbi Mordechai Elon for indecent assault by force against a minor.

The association also stated this week that it wished to strengthen victims of sexual assault who chose to speak out about the events.

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Orit Sulitzeanu, the association’s director-general, said in a statement that the court ruling was of “immense importance in breaking the silence surrounding the phenomenon of sexual assault in the religious community.”

“We know that the sense of guilt and shame that accompanies sexual abuse victims prevents women and men affected [from seeking] help or to complain,” she added. “We hope that all victims feel better thanks to this court decision and that people will understand that justice always ends up coming to light.”

The association added that each year, over 900 men and boys who suffered from sexual abuse turned to the centers’ hotlines for men.

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