Advice & support

Say NO to Sexual Harassment: A Brief Practical Guide

This brief guide offers some practical information concerning sexual harassment in Palestine including how to deal with day-to-day harassment and contact details of organisations that can offer support. A fuller guide will be available in early 2012 providing information on the procedure for reporting a sexual crime to the police.



Dealing with Harassment on the Streets


If your harasser is acting in a particularly threatening manner or refuses to leave you alone request assistance from those around you – call into the nearest shop, approach the nearest police officer or ring a friend for assistance. If you continue to feel threatened request accompaniment to a safe haven from someone you know you can trust, report your fears to the police (Ring 100 – available 24/7) or ring SAWA’s hotline for assistance (Ring 121 for those within West Bank/Gaza Strip and 02-582-2211 for those in Jerusalem – both are available between 08:00 and 00:00, 7 days a week).



Physical Harassment: Details to Record


Following an incident of sexual harassment, record the following details as soon as possible:


  • A detailed description of the incident;
  • Place and time of incident;
  • What you can remember about the perpetrator, such as clothing, physical features (hair colour, height, eye colour etc), and any distinctive features (scars, tattoos, etc;
  • If there were any witnesses, ask if you can record their contact details and physical description; and
  • If a vehicle is involved note the make, model, colour and licence plate number.


These details will be useful should you decide to report the incident to the police.



Dealing with Harassment over the Phone


If you are being harassed by someone via persistent phone calls or text messages save the phone number as evidence and also name the number so that you know when not to answer. For example, name the number “Stalker 1” or “Do Not Answer”.  Also, if you do not speak Palestinian Arabic, it may be worthwhile giving the phone — when called again — to a friend or colleague who can explain that calls are not welcome.  



Local Women’s Organisations that Can Offer Support


If you or someone you know has become a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault, the following organizations can help you seek support for coming to terms with your ordeal and can offer advice on seeking justice.




SAWA was set up with the goal of ameliorating violence against women and children and moving the discussion of violence out of the private sphere into the community sphere. They offer a range of support mechanisms for female victims of violence, including those who are subjected to sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. Two hotlines have been setup with a number of additional services including offering:


  • a referral for medical, legal, psychological assistance;
  • accompaniment to report a crime to the police; and
  • a counsellor.


Main Hotline: 121 (Free for Jawwal and West Bank/Gaza Strip landline customers) available in Arabic and English between 08:00 and 00:00 seven days a week.


Women Hotline: 02-582-2211 (Better for callers in Jerusalem) available in Arabic and English between 08:00 and 00:00 seven days a week.


Please note that when lines are busy the caller will be put into a queuing system. You will be informed of this by a message in Arabic. Please stay on the line and someone will answer your call as soon as possible.



Website: (Arabic) or (English)


Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)


WCLAC is a Palestinian organisation with over twenty years’ experience in dealing with a variety of issues affecting women including violence against women. In instances of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault WCLAC have a number of services available including:


  • Counselling;
  • Legal advice and representation;
  • Translator;
  • Assistance with police report; and
  • Shelter in case of emergency.


WCLAC’s main office in Ramallah can be contacted between 09:00 and 15:00 on Monday – Thursday and Saturday. Someone who speaks Arabic and English will be on hand to respond to your request.


Address: 23 Wadi’a Shatarah Street, Batn Al-Hawa, Ramallah, PO Box 54262 Jerusalem 91516

Phone: 02-295-6146 or 02-295-6147 or 02-295-6148


Website: (Arabic) or (English)