Responsibility for sexual assault cases to also be placed on institutions

"Sometimes it is appropriate that the heavy responsibility for the sexual assault be placed on institutions where the youths were sexually assaulted," the bill reads.

Israelis demonstrate against sexual violence after the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Eilat last week, Jerusalem, August 23, 2020 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israelis demonstrate against sexual violence after the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Eilat last week, Jerusalem, August 23, 2020
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Institutions in Israel will also be made to take responsibility for minors who have been sexually assaulted while under their care, according to a new bill in Knesset.

The Knesset general assembly approved in a preliminary reading a bill by Meretz MK Michal Rozin that would put this law into motion. 33 other MKs have endorsed the bill, which is said to apply the statute in civil lawsuits for sexual offenses committed on minors as well as lawsuits filed against those that justify the defendants' actions, for failure to prevent the assault.

The bill reads: "In many cases, the victim cannot directly sue the person who sexually assaulted him for various reasons. Sometimes it is appropriate that the heavy responsibility for the sexual assault be placed on institutions where the youths were sexually assaulted. 

"There is a clear social interest in allowing victims of sexual offenses to sue other parties involved who permitted the sexual assault. In addition, the victims of the crime must be allowed to obtain personal justice in a legal proceeding that may help them recover and receive compensation."

The bill will be passed on to the Constitutional Committee for further preparation.

A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California US (credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California US (credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)

"We have all witnessed the shocking murder of Lital Yael Melnik who was murdered in a psychiatric institution which was entrusted with her care. The institution where she stayed did not protect or defend her despite the complaints," said Rozin. "Many times children reveal the truth to officials. And those same people do nothing about it. If those people knew they were exposed to a lawsuit, they would treat it differently."