Friday, May 8, 2015

Israel has severe shortcomings in dealing with abused children - State Comptroller's Report

While the battle in recent years has been to have abuse reported to the authorities - the dirty secret is that the authorities often deal poorly with abuse cases - if at all. This has been documented in the recent State Comptroller's Report released this week

ynet     "The report did not surprise anyone who works in the field," Dr. Hanita Zimrin, chairperson of ELI, the Israel Association for Child Protection, said Wednesday, referring to the State Comptroller's report published Tuesday that revealed severe shortcomings in the treatment given by authorities to child abuse victims.

"After these thousands of children experienced betrayal from the people closest to them, they are betrayed by the country once more," Zimrin added.

According to the report released Tuesday, there is no regular, systemic and free program to treat minors who have been subject to sexual or physical abuse, despite the fact that thousands of children and teenagers suffer from abuse every year. The lack of adequate services can worsen existing trauma, the comptroller wrote.

 One example given was that of six siblings who were sent to a social worker after repeated reports of violence by their parents throughout 2012. The social worker requested in November 2013 that treatment be expedited, but the official go-ahead didn't come until April 2014 – and the treatment had still not begun by the time the report was written. Over the past several months, professionals in the childcare sector notified the Israel National Council for the Child of severe deficiencies and inadequacies in the treatment given by welfare services. One of the reports dealt with the authorities' treatment of R., a three-year-old girl who suffered physical abuse. At the end of 2013, the welfare services in the child's community received a report that she had arrived at kindergarten with serious bruises to her face and body. The incident was reported by phone to the welfare services, but was not treated by the authorities. [...]

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