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Israeli model mistreated by police when filing on sexual abuse

CM 28/07/2021

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“Everyone said that if you can testify then go and testify.”
In a heartfelt video shared to Instagram, Israeli model Gal Gvaram recounted her experience of police mistreatment and indifference during the filing of a sexual harassment complaint against modeling agent Shai Avital on Tuesday night at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa police district headquarters.
“Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, you called us all to testify, and that is not an easy thing to do. Israel Police officers, where are you? You were supposed to protect us.
According to her video, the model and Big Brother contestant arrived at Tel Aviv-Jaffa district headquarters on Tuesday night in order to file a sexual harassment complaint against Avital, the latest in a string of allegations brought forward against the veteran modeling agent over the previous week.
In her video, Gvaram said that when she informed the officer that she wished to file the complaint regarding an incident that happened two years ago, she was asked “the question of all questions,” of why she had waited so long.
“I answered him: because I was scared then and I am not scared anymore. And he went silent,” Gvaram recounted. 

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Following this, she was informed that it would take two to three hours before a police officer could see her to take her complaint, and that she would be better off filing a report from her computer. 
“I am sorry that I did not [come forward] sooner. But you, the police, where are you? Where is your district commander? I arrived to file a complaint and you sent me home, to send a photo from my computer. Where is the approach towards someone who has experienced something? Israeli police, you should be ashamed of yourselves,” she recounted through tears.
“We regret the difficult feeling caused by the manner in which the entrance to the police station was handled, and we will continue to conduct the investigation with the required sensitivity, with a specialized group of investigators that have been authorized and trained for this,” Tel Aviv District Commander, Superintendent Amichai Eshed said in a statement.
“The incident that took place last night when Gal Gvaram’s complaint was denied was bad, and did not need to happen… I apologize to you Gal, and together with the police I will find the weaknesses and fix them,” said Bar Lev, reiterating the need for an advisor on violence against women, a position which he has promised to fill.Labor MK Emilie Moatti also commented on the incident, saying that “the law enforcement system must treat sex offenders harshly and we as a society must condemn them in the sharpest possible way.””The barriers a woman has to break in order to dare to complain are many and often impossible,” she continued, emphasising the need for reforms in the way that sexual assault cases are treated. “While this has already happened, the system must be mobilized so that the process can be carried out in the most protective and complete manner.””I am sending strength to Gal Gvaram and the other brave women who broke the barrier of silence. And I embrace with deep sympathy, those who are afraid to complain.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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