Sexual Assault in Israel – Why Is It Important to Know Your Rights and Address Professional Legal Assistance in Every Case?
Sexual assault charges may not just end up in a long time of imprisonment but can ruin your reputation forever. Fighting against such charges, in a public atmosphere of “automatic belief” in the victim’s charges, requires the expert help of an experienced lawyer in this field
The purpose of the “Sexual Harassment Law,” introduced in Israel in 1998, is “to prohibit sexual harassment in order to defend human dignity, freedom, and privacy.” However, today`s practice demonstrates that sexual offense cases are often the most complicated and sometimes even controversial. Moreover, each case of sexual offense or harassment tends to have a long-term effect on the life of the victim as well as the offensive part and a suspect if they have been cleared of the accusations in the course of the investigation.
False accusations of Sexual Assault as a Wide-Spread Social and Legal Phenomena
According to the data provided by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI), over 10,000 cases of sexual assault are happening in the country every year. However, only 6% of victims tend to address the authorities, about 37% of cases are reported through the relevant hotlines, while the rest remain silent.
At the same time, the rate of false accusations of sexual assault or harassment in Israel is growing markedly. If only a couple of years ago, about 2% of such claims were either mistaken or knowingly false, by 2021, the numbers rose up to at least 10% of reported cases.
It is worth recalling a case that was widely discussed in Media worldwide not so long ago, when a 19-year-old British tourist falsely claimed that she had been attacked by 12 Israelis on July 17, 2019. The twelve young Israelis have been arrested instantly. However, 10 days later, the woman herself claimed that her accusations were false and all the suspects had been released. However, this case may be a lucky exemption out of a startling trend of false sexual assault accusations being used in Israel as a means of blackmailing, revenge, etc.
The Legal Rights of Suspects in Sexual Assault Cases
The biggest concern, in this case, is that the suspects and defendants often don`t know their rights and legal perspectives after being accused of such offense. While the rights and procedures of victims of sexual assault and harassment in Israel are discussed and popularized widely, the position of the accused party often remains unclear.
While in most cases, the suspect cannot be arrested right away or may only be arrested for several days after the claim has been made, this moment is often used as leverage in case they don`t address a qualified criminal lawyer who is not only familiar with the legal proceeding of sexual assault cases in Israel but has sufficient practical experience in such complicated cases that often involve mental pressure, human factor, and manipulation.
The Importance of A Knowledgeable Lawyer in Sexual Assault Cases
In many cases, a qualified lawyer plays a crucial part in reaching the settlement and avoiding the trial even if the prosecutor finds the evidence and testimonies collected by police enough for the court. However, it is the suspect`s lawyer who cross-examines the initial questioning and will be present at the testimony made in court. Therefore, his precise knowledge of the sexual assault legislation in Israel and the legal procedures will play the main role in the outcome of the case.
Another important thing to remember is that sexual assault cases are widely publicized and discussed on all levels in Israel as well as the rest of the world. Withdrawal of the charges may only be part of the relief for a suspect, as significant damage will probably be done to their reputation.
A qualified criminal lawyer who specializes in sexual offense accusations in Israel will be able to cover all the spillover effects of such cases for a suspect or defendant in court, initiate the procedure of protection of honor and dignity during and after the trial as well as forego a countersuit in case of severe damage to the client`s reputation or the need of psychological and other possible treatments caused by the effect of the accusations.
Attorney Sharon Nahari, and his law firm, deal with numerous cases of sexual crimes and which some of his clients were accused of, including accusations of online sexual crimes.