The vast majority of victims have reported that they were assaulted by people known to them or by family members.
By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY (TRANSLATED)
The number of calls for help to the Sharon area's Center for Assistance to Victims of Sexual Assault has risen by 14 percent this year, reports www.local.co.il. The center, based in Ra'anana, is receiving an average of 80 calls for help per month, with the vast majority of victims reporting that they were assaulted by people known to them or by family members.
According to the report, center manager Noa Harris said the rise in the number of calls to the center's emergency hotline occured in the first 10 months of this year, compared with the same period in 2007. She said the center was receiving an average of 80 calls per month, nearly all of them from women and girls, with a couple from men who had been sexually assaulted by other men. She said that 32% of the assaults were committed by family members and 55% were committed by people known to the victims, while 13% were committed by strangers.
Harris said that only 19% of those who reported assaults to the center also reported them to police, saying that many women did not trust the legal system to pursue their cases. She said the center was encouraging more women to go to police and was assisting them through the legal process, because "the more women make their voices heard, the more charges will be laid.
"Our aim is to help the victim so that the assault stops running her life and so that she can rehabilitate her life," Harris said. The center is holding a fund-raising evening, featuring singer Gali Atari, in Kfar Saba on December 2, at which it expects to raise about NIS 130,000 from the sale of 800 tickets, all the proceeds of which will go directly to the center. The emergency hotline can be called anonymously on 1202.
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