Assistance center for victims of sexual assault

The Assistance Center for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Sharon area was established about 40 years ago in order to help and provide practical and emotional support for victims and their immediate surrounding, and accompany them throughout the hardships on the way to recovery. The center serves the entire population of the Sharon region and provides 24/7 assistance, 365 days a year through volunteer assistance that operates without compensation. Emotional support for victims via telephone helpline, online chats, personal meetings, support groups (on the continuum of Assist-treatment-rehabilitation), accompaniment in the legal process, assistance in submission of complaints and the exercise of rights.

The center also operates a number of initiatives in the fields of education, Advocacy and prevention of sexual violence, including: psychoeducational workshops for youth in formal and informal education, as well as for parents and educational staff; an anonymous chat line for girls and teens, providing answers to questions relating to sexuality, sexual and gender orientation and other issues concerning adolescents; advocacy programs for the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace; training for professionals in the field of welfare and geriatrics on sexual abuse in the elderly; training for therapists aimed at expanding the toolbox when they come to identify and treat victims of sexual assault.

The Anatta Foundation has supported the Center since 2020. The contribution of the foundation has helped the center carry out its main activities, one of which is and online assistance activity through the 1202 Colmila website, offering anonymous and immediate assistance to teens and young adults who have experienced or are still experiencing sexual abuse and are extremely lonely, in distress and sometimes even at risk. The service provides a safe environment for emotional support, eye level listening and free of judgment. Information is offered and referrals to carers and assistance center services are provided. These services shorten the time between the sexual assault and the referral for help and treatable, thus helping to stop the injury and prevent repeated victimization. Usually, the relationship does not end with a single chat and takes form in various other ways such as escort police intervention, hospitalisation, legal support, contact with a caregiver and support groups. In light of the fact that in the health system the wait for mental health treatment is very long and that there is an acute shortage of trained caregivers that are suitable in the field of sexual trauma, "1202 Colmila” is a lifeline for victims.

Anatta's donation helped run the "Summer Voice" project - anonymous chat for teens about healthy sexuality and adolescence, the first of its kind in Israel. In Israel the age at which youth and teens are becoming sexually active is going down. However, it is evident that in a large and considerable part of homes and families in Israel, there is still no discussion about sexuality and sex, and that there are topics about which teenagers do not feel comfortable talking to parents, friends or educational counsellors. The Voice of Summer provides an accessible, and discreet free channel of asking questions and its purpose is to enable youth to make informative and fact-based decisions in order to educe risk behaviours The Voice of Summer provides an accessible, discreet and free channel for asking questions. It aims to enable youth to make informed decisions based on facts and to reduce risky behaviours and sexual abuse. Our Educational Department expert instructors are trained specifically to provide solutions for dozens of young people.

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