After a series of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against gay TV personality Gal Uchovsky and activist Etai Pinkas-Arad, the Agudah-The Association for LGBTQ+ Equality in Israel and additional organizations in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have launched a plan to combat sexual abuse in that community.
The plan, which will continue for about six months, aims to help create safer spaces by promoting certain behavior and language with zero tolerance for abuse, harassment or exploitation.
The first stage of the plan will launch a campaign to encourage victims of sexual abuse and harassment in the LGBT community to report incidents to centers for vicitms and hotlines from the Agudah. The organizations will also back up the psychosocial network and offer personal and group therapy.
The second stage will involve creating a new code of ethics in the LGBT community to create norms and red lines concerning sexual behavior. The organizations will encourage the public to participate in the creation of the new code and hold conversation circles on the matter. The new code of ethics will be published in the third stage of the plan.
“The last few days have shown the strength that is in each and every member of the LGBTQ+ community, the power to say, ‘Enough,’” said Agudah director-general Ran Shalhavi. “It is not enough to condemn, one needs to act now and create norms and red lines with zero tolerance for sexual assault through the discourse that exists these days.
“We ask members of the LGBTQ+ community to continue to share, report and speak about any sexual abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any sharing or reporting changes our reality on the way to a safe space based on consent,” added Shalhavi.
Earlier this month, KAN news published a report alleging that Uchovsky had sexually assaulted a number of men. After the publication of the report, Uchovsky announced that he be would resigning from his role as president of Israel Gay Youth (IGY).
Earlier this week, the first complaint was filed to Israel Police against Uchovsky, after police opened an investigation into the allegations.
Last week, Pinkas-Arad was accused of sexual misconduct by two men who said they had relations with him over 10 years ago when they were 17 and members of IGY. The activist announced afterward that he would be stepping down from his position as the Tel Aviv City Council member responsible for LGBT issues.