Victim of alleged sexual assault by prospective police chief exposes her identity
Dr. Orly Innes, a prominent anti-violence advocate and activist, says she relinquishes right to conceal her identity in order to empower other victims of sexual misconduct.
A woman accusing a top Israel Police chief candidate of sexual assault and harassment revealed her identity in a press conference on Thursday, in an attempt to use the publicity generated by the case in order to empower victims of sexual assault.
Dr. Orly Innes, known as O. since the case was made public last week, was the first of three women accusing prominent Israel Police Major General Uri Bar-Lev.
"I relinquish my right to conceal my identity, I am not afraid," Innes said.
"I did nothing wrong and I am not afraid, I came here tonight to say enough – this is me, this is my name, and this is my face," she said. "I am here tonight to represent the generally quiet, scared and hesitant voice of the victims of abuse."
Innes founded, and is part of the national professional staff of the "City without Violence" program, which aims to confront all types of violence on a city-wide level. She received a PhD in social work from Haifa University, writing her thesis on "Moral Messages in Verdicts regarding Violence against Women in Israel between the Years 1970-2000."
Innes also served as a lecturer at Haifa, as well as serving as the advisor for the CEO of the Social Security on strategic planning regarding social policy.
Innes has also served as the manager of the program for treatment of disassociated Haredi youth, and she has served as the deputy CEO of the ministry of social affairs and social services, as well as the coordinator of professional work done with underprivileged youth.
Speaking during a meeting with women who offered their support in recent days, O. discussed her intention to go public, saying her position as a "well-connected member of the establishment" gave her the "strength that other women do not sufficiently possess to come forward."
She said she will now make an effort to "leverage her position in the hopes of putting forth a plan that would offer protection to sex crime victims."
O. said that legislation is needed to limit media reportage of details and accusations about the private life of sex crime victims, similar to the stories that have been published about her past relationships.
"We must formulate a plan that would give victims of sex crimes the legitimacy to come forward," she said. "Society must protect these women and not turn them into punching bags."
Major General Bar-Lev was interrogated for more than seven hours on Wednesday, answering questions regarding the two complaints of sexual offences that have been made against him.
Bar-Lev underwent a polygraph test and was asked questions about an encounter with M. and S. that occurred in a Herzliya hotel five years ago, and about an incident involving O. that occurred in Eilat two years ago.
While connected to a lie-detector, Bar-Lev admitted that he engaged in sexual acts with the complainant M., but denied her claims that he had drugged her. S., a former friend of M., confirmed Bar-Lev's claim that M. had arrived at the hotel of her own free will.
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