Bat Ami (“Daughter of my People”) answers a critical need in Jerusalem. Almost every other day, a victim of sexual assault reaches out to the centre. More than a third of the victims are minors. Bat Ami is the only designated acute care facility for victims of sexual assault in all of greater Jerusalem, an area serving a population of over 1.2 million people.
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Urgent treatment and ongoing support are key
The scope of Bat Ami is to provide empathic and professional treatment and support for victims of sexual assault. Propagating the education and awareness of sexual abuse with a special approach to the victims, staff aspire to excel and be capable of improving the lives of people involved in these tragic stories.
The Bat Ami Center is available 24/7 with a team of physicians, nurses and social workers. The team has people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, among them Jewish (secular, religious and Haredi) and Arabs (Moslem and Christian). The team is also multilingual; one can hear Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian, Yiddish and even other languages.
Bat Ami Director, Dr Dvora Bauman, says that the centre answers a critical need in Jerusalem:
Victims of sexual assault reach out to the Bat Ami Center and immediate treatment is of paramount importance because prevention of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections is time-limited, and unfortunately ineffective after 3-5 days. In addition, the signs of violence that may be the only evidence of the crime – and play an essential role in the justice process – usually disappear after a few days.
Bat Ami Bat Ami staff (L-R), Social Worker Nurit Seidel Levy, Center Director Dr Dvora Bauman and Nurse Gitit Hadashi.
The colposcope donated in 2018 by Hadassah Australia supporters has played a vital role for survivors going down the criminal justice pathway.
Support is needed to strengthen the Bat Ami Center in its provision of immediate care and in giving back a sense of control to the survivors. Two much-needed initiatives have been identified going forward:
- A medical clowning program for young victims of sexual assault
Recent studies show that having a medical clown as part of the first responder team can be beneficial in helping children express their feelings and increase disclosure. The clown helps alleviate stress and tension, not only for the children and their families but also for the treating team.
- A support program for the Bat Ami team to reduce compassion fatigue and burnout.
The negative cost of caring for survivors of sexual abuse and violence is known as compassion fatigue and burnout, leading to emotional and physical exhaustion which ultimately affects the quality of the medical therapy. We can help the professional team with ongoing relief through workshops and other research-based techniques.
We need your help to fund these vital Bat Ami Center programs. Donate Now
Making a Difference
Jerusalem is a city exposed to significant stress from violence, arbitrary acts of terrorism, the scourge of sexual assault with its accompanying physical and mental agony, and these issues underpin the critical need for the services provided by Bat Ami.
In 2018, Hadassah Australia donors generously donated money to purchase a new, state-of-the-art colposcope for the clinic. The colposcope has made all the difference to survivors of violence and sexual abuse and will help more victims find justice in the courts.
Bat Ami Director, Dr Dvora Bauman, thanks Hadassah Australia donors in the video below.
Rise in family violence during Covid-19 lockdown
In July 2020, during COVID-19 there were reports of a rise in family violence and abuse. The Knesset Committee on Family Violence visited the Bat Ami Center to review Bat Ami’s performance and how it was handling the stormy days.
Bat Ami team with the Knesset Committee
Director, Dr Dvora Bauman, gave the committee members a tour and a presentation which included explaining the importance of the high-tech colposcope, purchased through the generosity of Hadassah Australia donors, in enabling physical evidence to be successfully accepted by the courts.
The Knesset committee was impressed with the work and achievements of the Center and commended the team on their outstanding performance.
Your support will change lives.
Please help us to establish vital programs to ease the pain for victims of sexual abuse & those providing acute care.