Two prostituted women, M’ who was 21 and N’, 46, have tragically died last month. Both were known to the welfare authorities for their repeated attempts to exit the circle of prostitution. They now join a too long list of 51 prostituted women in Israel who died in the past decade – and of these there is public record, there undoubtedly being many more. May their souls rest in peace. Click here to read the article published in Haaretz about M’.
For those trapped in prostitution, every day that passes without significant, progressive, legal and social change is critical. Last year, an inter-ministerial committee was established by the Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, to examine possible Government sponsorship of the “Nordic Model” bill written by TFHT.
Within the framework of the TFHT’s Project 119, volunteers will write to the Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, to publish the findings of that committee and call upon her to promote legislation to help prevent the next violent, premature death of a prostituted person on the streets and in the brothels of Israel. Enclosed is the letter:
“Dear Minister of Justice Shaked,
Last week N’, a 46 year-old woman desperately seeking to exit prostitution, died on the streets of Tel-Aviv. She was the second prostituted woman in Israel to have died last month. The victims of prostitution are women who daily suffer brutal violence, exploitation and abuse. Their fates are determined by the legal and social norms of Israel society. It is time to implement the change that will create a better future for women on Israel’s streets.
M’, 21 years old, died of an overdose on a street corner in Tel-Aviv. She was the victim of a gang rape by the employees of the “Allenby 44” Club four years ago, and subsequently required psychiatric treatment and relapsed to prostitution and drug abuse. While M’s rapists were convicted, the process and interrogations she endured crushed her and she could not pick up the pieces of her broken life.
N’, a former Soviet Union immigrant, was a teacher. In order to establish her citizenship, she married an abusive, exploitative, Israeli who coerced her to prostitution and addiction. She lived a double life, attempting to disguise her addiction, Even then, she lost ownership of her apartment and became homeless, living a life of despair and distrust.
I urge you, as the Minister of Justice who wisely and caringly initiated the inter-ministerial committee examining the national struggle against prostitution and avenues of rehabilitation for prostitution survivors, to move forward and act to protect women in prostitution and prevent others from entering its violent, destructive circle. You hold appreciable power over the fragile lives of these exploited women and the future of thousands of prostituted people.
Let your resolve, your leadership and your heart be strengthened by The National Survey on Prostitution in Israel conducted by the Ministries of Social Affairs and Public Security which reveals 74% of the population expects the Government to eliminate prostitution in Israel.“