It’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We want to kick start this month by highlighting online sexual harassment.
A recent survey published by the Israeli Ministry of National Security pointed to alarming data regarding online sexual violence. 31% of online sexual violence among minors occurs on Instagram and 26% on WhatsApp. The majority of victims are 12-14 years old.
To tackle these issues, ELEM staff has been present online for years. Beyond ELEM’s chat, the staff is present in various social media, making sure youth have someone to turn to and looking for youth displaying signs of distress. In fact, in the past year our staff interacted online with 2,800 youth who expressed distress. In addition, they have identified an increase in the distress youth expressed online.
ELEM is committed to be there for youth and raise awareness to the struggles they are facing. No one should go through the pain alone. Every teen deserves to have an adult they can trust to help them cope. Therefore, We must be present in the places where the youth are, including online platforms, and assist them.
During the month of April, we will be sharing on our social media testimonials of ELEM graduates who experienced sexual assault. We hope that sharing these stories will inspire people to reach out and help and show those who have been abused that there is hope.