Hotline Crisis Intervention
The HRCC provides around-the-clock crisis intervention and support to survivors of rape, assault, incest and sexual harassment, assistance to their families, and advice to the community professionals in contact with survivors. Trained volunteers provide telephone and face-to-face counseling, as well as accompaniment to the police, legal system and hospitals. The Haifa Rape Crisis Center also organizes support groups for survivors of sexual violence led by community professionals. In 2011, the Hotline received 3144 calls, including 910 first-time calls from survivors, their families and friends, and community professionals in contact with survivors, and 1861 calls of an ongoing nature (callers that contact the HRCC for support more than once). A total of 200 calls were requests for information about sexual violence and its prevention, and about the services the Haifa Rape Crisis Center provides to the community. In addition, 173 were requests for help not related to sexual violence in which the callers were referred to the appropriated services in the community. Volunteers met with survivors in 76 face-to-face counseling sessions and 61 accompaniments to the hospital, police, the district attorney and the courts.
Community Outreach and Educational Programs
The Center’s resolute commitment to raising awareness about the issue of sexual violence is reflected in its extensive and productive community outreach and educational programs. The focus of the programs is intervention and prevention. In terms of intervention these projects reach out to program participants that are survivors of sexual abuse that have not told anyone of their trauma and do not know to whom to turn. The workshops help them to understand that they are not to be blamed and they do not have to keep the abuse a secret. They have the opportunity to approach the facilitators after the workshops and/or they are given the “1202” twenty-four hour a day hotline number that they can contact later privately. In terms of prevention these programs focus on developing mutual respect by promoting assertiveness in potential victims, and teaching potential abusers how not to abuse. Ninety percent of all sexual violence is perpetrated by those familiar to us (family, partners, friends, professionals, community members etc.). Potential victims need to know how to identify potential abusers and how to protect themselves from them. The idea behind these programs is that if you invest $1 in prevention you will save $10 in therapy and rehabilitation in the future
In 2011, the HRCC facilitated:
- 547 workshops with 4881 school students from 3rd to 12th grade
- 414 workshops with 2046 youth at risk
- 60 workshops with 458 parents
- 14 workshops with 259 members of the general public (university students, military, adults)
The goal of this project is to train professionals in the identification, prevention and treatment of sexual violence.It trains teachers, school counselors, social workers, therapists and other professionals working with youth to be community based advocates, supporting survivors and preventing sexual abuse. In cases where children are being abused within the family (approximately 35% of all cases reported to the Haifa Rape Crisis Center), it is very important that they have someone in the community they can turn to and trust to help them.
This project also trains professionals in the criminal justice process (police, investigators, lawyers) to respond to sexual violence survivors and address sexual assault in a knowledgeable and sensitive manner. Training includes confronting many commonly held myths such as: women are raped because they dress provocatively and tease. Criminal justice professionals, who believe such myths, are unable to respond empathically and knowledgeably to survivors with whom they come in contact. Furthermore, professionals in the criminal justice system need to understand the short and long term effects of sexual violence victimization. For example, when a woman reports having been sexually abused and she expresses little to no emotion, or she doesn’t always remember all the details, it should not be taken as evidence that she is “making it up”. Rather, criminal justice professionals need to learn that it means that she has “cut” herself off from certain emotions and memories as a way of coping with the abuse. In addition, it is important that the Haifa Rape Crisis Center will build a mutually cooperative relationship with professionals at all levels of the criminal justice system so that we can effectively serve as liaison between the survivor and the criminal justice system and that members of the criminal justice system will refer survivors to our support services and will consult with us on an ongoing basis.
In 2011 the HRCC facilitated:
- 50 workshops with 413 professionals working with youth
- 56 workshops with 260 professionals working with youth at risk
- 2 56-academic hour courses at Gordon College on “Sexual Abuse: Treatment and Prevention. The Dynamics of Violent Relationships on the Life Cycle”. The courses were attended by 47 kindergarten and school teachers
- 1 five and a half hour conference day on “The Relationship Between Sexual Abuse and Substance Abuse” together with the Multi Disciplinary Centerfor the Treatment of Survivors of Sexual Abuse – B’nai Zion Medical Center The conference day was attended by 250 professionals
- 1 two year course, 75 academic hours plus practicum, “The Treatment of Survivors of Sexual Abuse” attended by 12 therapeutic professionals (continues into 2012)
- 1 50 -hour training course with 13 new HRCC workshop facilitators
- 22 hours of on-going training and supervision of veteran workshop facilitators
- 2 supervision meetings with 13 kibbutz sexual harassment specialists
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