“Many women and girls come to Israel after fleeing Ukraine. They’re completely destitute, having lost their home, their security, and their normal lives. Sadly, there are those who take advantage of these women’s vulnerable situations and see it as an opportunity to exploit, harm and humiliate. This is how they operate:
At first, they offer the women emergency shelter, a bed for the night, a refuge to keep warm from the winter cold, and some food. Soon enough, the women find that there are no free gifts and everything has a price. Sex for asylum. Sex for survival. Or in other words: shocking sexual exploitation.
Often, women and girls who have fled the horrors of war find themselves in a new horror. At ELEM, we often meet girls and young women who immigrated to Israel to start a new life and fell victim to cruel exploitation during their time of need.
We must speak loudly and boldly for the women fleeing Ukraine and for those who are being exploited, so they know they have a place to turn to. ELEM is available 24/7. We make sure that the conversations about these issues at our centers, on the streets, and online are respectful, beneficial, and helpful.”
Maya Baron, Head of the Extreme Risk and Young Girls Field at ELEM