75% of sexual offenders in Israel are released before end of sentence

Published date22 November 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
Released on Tuesday ahead of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, the report examines the phenomenon of violence against women in Israel, both through data on the treatment of sexual assault cases by the authorities and a collection of testimonies dealing with the legal proceedings of sexual assault cases

Accusations of sexual crimes and indictments

The number of sexual assault cases opened with the police in 2021 was 17% higher than in 2020, with 6,922 complainants registering cases of sexual offenses and sexual harassment. Of that number, 83% of the cases were initiated for harming women or girls, and 17% were for harm against men and boys.

Of the cases opened in 2021, 43% dealt with harm against minors. Recorded sexual offenses against minors were up 19% compared with the previous year.

In comparison to the reports received by the ARCCI in 2021, which found that 90% of the victims reported to the organization knew the abuser prior to the reported incident, 60% of cases reported to the police said the abuser had been known to the victim beforehand.

Additionally, 15% of opened cases named a family member or spouse as the perpetrator, compared with 49% of referrals received by the ARCCI.

"In institutions such as the police and the IPS, which are also male and also hierarchical, we were exposed to painful cases in which women were exploited, harassed and harmed, and in the end, they paid the price for daring to complain rather than the offender being fired from his workplace."

ARCCI Director-General Orit Sulitzeanu

This indicates "great difficulty in filing a police report against a close contact," the report said.

Despite an increased number of initiated cases in 2021, the number that reached the prosecutor's office was 7% lower than the previous year. In 2020, 4,521 sexual offense and sexual harassment cases were opened at the prosecutor's office, but in 2021, this number fell to 4,218.

Similarly, the report noted a decreased number of indictments being filed for sexual offenses in 2021, down to 717 from 744 in 2020.

Additionally, 2,279 sexual-offense cases were closed without an indictment being filed, with 275 of them involving at least two or more victims. The highest number of victims involved in any one closed case was 26.

Once a case is closed without an indictment being filed, the complainant may file an appeal against the decision. However, in 2021, 92% of all appeals submitted in cases of sexual assault...

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