Women’s History Month is a time to uplift women’s voices. This month we are highlighting the incredible women of ELEM on our social media. Today we want to share one of those stories here on our blog. This is the story of Ayala and Shira, the ELEM staff member that helped her.
Ayala, a 13-year-old ultra-Orthodox girl, found herself facing difficult circumstances after being sexually assaulted.
The pain was evident, but adults interpreted it as impudence. For them, she was disruptive and they removed her from school. Her parents didn’t understand what happened to their daughter all of a sudden. They tried in every way to get her back on track, this made her even more isolated
Shira, the manager of ELEM’s outreach van for ultra-Orthodox girls in Jerusalem was Ayala’s lifeline: “The very first time we met and talked, Ayala realized that there was something different here, that I was able to look at her, to see her tremendous pain, to not judge her, to not tell her what to do, just love her and be there for her. To be with her in her pain. Today, Ayala has already come a long way in her journey, and she is slowly going home, returning to school, and most importantly becoming herself again.”