April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The internet is still rife with cases of sexual assault and online youth prostitution. Online spaces are yet to be a safe space, particularly for vulnerable minors. In a recent investigation conducted by N12 it seems that Israeli youth find it easier than ever to engage in prostitution online through different website and messaging apps. In addition, very few cases involving minor prostitution actually end up with indictments.
ELEM’s The Heart/Halev program provide youth who engage in prostitution the stability, care and space to open up and overcome adversity. Liel (pseudonym), one of Halev’s youth, shared with N12: “At first I did not know how to make sense of it, I looked for a ‘no’. But it did not come and neither did the judgment. There are so many teenagers here who have a story that no one in the system cares about. This place gives them a notebook and a pen to tell it and the tools to build a life for themselves. I don’t know if it’s better, but at least it is not like survival.”
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