|ARCCI Head; Katzav's Punishment Sends a Clear Message|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
Ironic flashback: ARCCI presents its annual report to the then President Moshe Katsav before his crimes came to light.
In the wake of the seven year prison sentence for rape handed down to former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Michal Rosen, Executive Director of veteran NIF grantee Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI,) said that while it a was sad day for Israel, the punishment sends a clear message to both the victims of sexual violence and their attackers.
"It is a message of belief in the victims and the justice system, and of zero-tolerance to the perpetrators of sexual violence. It shows that the judicial system is beginning to understand the significance of sexual violence and the exploitation of power,” Rosen said.
Miriam Schler, Director of the Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center, said that normally 20 percent of those turning to the center lodge complaints with the police. "Since the verdict on Katsav and now with the sentencing, the phone here has not stopped ringing and there is a sharp rise in the number of women contacting the Center."
NIF grantees ARCCI and Kolech: Religious Women's Forum helped keep the rape case against Katsav alive by appealing to the High Court of Justice against the plea bargain worked out by the then attorney general Meni Mazuz to drop the rape charge if Katzav pleaded guilty to lesser charges of sexual assault.