Bill Proposed to Limit Interviews With Sexually Abused Minors

Parents of abuse victims are coerced to let their children be interviewed, says the Meretz MK behind the bill.

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A proposed bill seeks to restrict interviews with individuals who had been involved in sex crimes against minors. If the bill passes, it would require court approval for every interview conducted with either the victims or perpetrators of such crimes.

What galvanized MK Michal Rosin (Meretz) to submit the bill was the recent flood of similar televised interviews, such as the those of minors from the Eyal Golan case, in which the singer, his father, and some of his associates are suspected of having sex with underage girls.

Rosin, a former director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, said this form of coverage is “a ratings parade at the expense of children and teens, who were victims of severe sexual exploitation. The last thing 12-year-old girls who have been gang-raped need is to satisfy the pornographic needs of the Israeli media."

She added: “There are many fair and legitimate ways to cover this issue. But this isn’t one of them."

Such interviews, Rosin said, are tantamount to “sexual exploitation taking place during criminal proceedings. The justification [for airing them] is that the parents consented. They consented because their lawyer told them it’ll play well for the defense, or help prove [the victim's] story. But in cases like this, the entire family is in shock and in no condition to make decisions.

“We need to institute a special mechanism to protect children in this situation. It’s inconceivable that during a criminal investigation, [the media] should be allowed to pressure the victim to give an interview, and then press her on during the interview, as if she were being interrogated, which can cause more trauma. It's utterly irresponsible. Let the decision of whether to allow these interviews to be conducted or not be up to the courts."

"To watch these media reports and keep silent is to collaborate with this harmful, chilling and intolerable invasiveness,” she added.

MK Michal Rosin, on right, with MK Tamar Zandberg in the Knesset. March 9, 2013.Credit: Michal Fattal

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