The Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Violence Among Youth

The treatment of young children demonstrating sexually abusive behavior is vitally important, and the earlier the intervention, the greater the chance of rehabilitation. ELEM believes that sexual violence can be stopped and that it is society’s duty to work towards preventing this type of violence. Raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and putting the issue on the community agenda helps to foster public awareness about the issue and contribute to prevention. Moreover, timely treatment of the sexually abusive behavior can prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of future incidents. ELEM has created the first center that specializes in the treatment of this young sex abusers.

What is the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Violence Among Youth?

ELEM established a Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Violence Among Youth in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. Treatment plans are tailored to the unique needs of each client. Individual, group, and family therapy are combined in short and long-term therapy approaches. These modalities are often integrated with various creative therapies such as art therapy, animal therapy and play therapy. The Center writes and presents publications to showcase innovative treatment modalities.

Statistics of Interest

  • 98% of the perpetrators of sexual violence served by this program are male. The ratio of victims of sexual violence by gender is 55% male and 45% female.

  • In 2018, the division received 745 requests, an increase of 5% over 2017

Who is served?

The Center focuses on children under the age of 12 (the age of criminal responsibility) and on minors 12 to 18 who are not undergoing criminal proceedings.  The minors have been perpetrators or victims of sexual abuse. The Center also serves professionals requesting training on this subject matter and the general public through the hotline run by the program.  

Where are these programs located?

The Center has branches in Tel Aviv,  Shfaram (uniquely serving the Arab population), Afula and Beit Shean, providing help all over Israel. In addition, ELEM partners with governmental Youth Correctional Services and the Youth Protection Authority on therapy groups that are run by the for boys aged 14 to 18, including those perpetrators who are in lockup facilities (Yarcha, Mitzpeh Yam and Gilam). For a map of ELEM programs, click here.


New Trend

There has been an increase in the number of incidents of online sexual abuse such as posting pictures and video clips of a sexual nature via Whatsapp groups.

Major Impact

Treatment given to young sexual offenders affects other areas in their lives. At the conclusion of therapy, ELEM receives reports from parents, teachers, youth counselors and social workers. In addition to the cessation of abusive acts, ELEM is often informed of changes in other areas of the child’s life such as improved school performance, reduction in violent behavior and better social relations. In the cases where family therapy was also given,  improvements in family relations and family management in areas not connected to sexual behaviors are noted.


  •  A group was set up for mothers of children who have been sexually abused in conjunction with the Association of Rape Crisis Centers.

  • Staff was given training in EMDR – An integrative treatment method utilizing biofeedback for the purpose of reprocessing traumatic memory to promote healing. This treatment modality is successful in treating adults and children suffering from a range of emotional disorders as the result of trauma and anxiety.

  • Increased professionalism by staff and volunteers regarding the treatment of children who are both offenders and victims.

  • Increased professionalism by staff and volunteers regarding treatment of families who have experienced incest.

  • A seminar was held by the field on the subject of sexual offenders who themselves were victims of sexual abuse.

  • The Center continued to give lectures and professional study days to other community groups.

Expansion and Development Goals

  • Present lectures in conjunction with the Rape Crisis Center.

  • Forge cooperation with “BeTzedek,” a community organization, to develop a joint project for sexual offenders who are still minors.