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No Means NO
Sexual assault has been spurned by Jewish law for over 3,000 years. There is no debate. It is a serious crime of both law and faith.
Sexual assault means any unwanted sexual behaviour:
- to which a person did not agree, or
- to which a person was unable to agree.
Any physical or emotional force used to coerce a sexual act is an offence. That means, if you feel worried, frightened or intimidated into sexual behaviour, you have experienced sexual assault.
If you are in immediate danger, call 000. For confidential information and referrals, contact the Jewish Taskforce Support Line.
“Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew.”
– Golda Meir
What to do now
If you have been assaulted, you are probably experiencing a swirl of emotional and physical reactions. You are not to blame for what has happened. Care and safety are the most important things right now.
Go to a place where you will be sheltered from the attacker. You may want help finding somewhere safe and will also need other support, such as:
- Medical attention
A GP or hospital emergency will give you the essential health care you need. This includes injury treatment, disease medication, pregnancy advice as well as documenting the event.
- Police attendance
If you decide to make a Police report, try to keep all evidence intact. Even if it’s hard to do, that means not washing or showering, changing clothes or brushing hair for now.
- Physical protection
This is especially important in the case of multiple sexual assault, usually by a partner, relative or person you know well. Finding somewhere safe is the best way to make it stop.
- Emotional assistance
Contact someone you can trust, especially if you are hesitant to disclose the assault. Friendly reassurance and professional counselling will help. Remember you are not at fault.
What happens next will depend on your own situation. Counselling support, professional services and trained Rabbis are all available to help limit your vulnerability. You might also decide to formulate a plan towards creating a life free of sexual and family violence.