Awake At Night- Erem Balayla

What is Awake At Night – Erem Balayla?

This project aims to reduce commercial sexual exploitation of minors; to reduce emotional and physical damage from sexual abuse; and to advocate for these youth. The project provides positive adult role models, encourages youth to exercise their rights and provides alternatives to the world of prostitution to enable youth to gradually exit this way of living. Awake at Night (called Halev 24/7 – The Heart 24/7 in Tel Aviv) also provides immediate assistance, such as a hot meal, a help hotline and counseling services.

Where is the program located?

The program was started in 2001 in Tel Aviv.  In 2008, the program was expanded to Haifa  and in 2012, to Eilat. During 2013, a program center for teen girls in prostitution was opened in the Hevel Modi’in region and in Petach Tikva. Please click here for a map of ELEM programs.

Who is served?

There is a growing number of teens and young adults aged 14 to 26 who are involved in prostitution.  These youth come from all segments of the population. Some live at home and attend school, while others have run away from an abusive environment and are cut off from family and social ties. Activities take place on the streets, in apartments and in dance and strip clubs. There is also a sharp increase in soliciting prostitution openly on sex sites or hinted at on social networks, forums, chat rooms and on dating sites. 18% of this population self-identifies as transgender. Prostitution serves as a survival strategy for these youth.

New Trends

  • Young victims becoming “pimps” and organizing clientele for each other.

  • Sexual exploitation of illegal immigrants

  • Young women becoming pregnant and choosing to keep their babies.

  • An increase in the number of male and female Arabs in the project.

 Achievements for 2018

  • A young woman who took part in the project has joined the staff in the center as a mentor.

  • Increased hours for outreach in HaZicaron Park (Haifa) via the ELEM Outreach Van.

  • Referred participants for employment in conjunction with The King’s Way – Derech Hamelech program.

  • Incorporated art or drama workshops into the services offered by the center as an effective tool to enable the participants to express emotional distress.

  • Opening of a permanent building in Eilat for youth involved in prostitution.

  • In Dimona, we opened a branch of our “Halev” program.

Goals and Development Plans

  • Expand services to 24/7.

  • Recruit 80 new volunteers and to establish a volunteer base from the youth in the program.

  • Provide Outreach Van services at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv.

  • Assist young mothers to access critical community services, such as child development centers and day care.