Eliran arrived at the ELEM center dressed in his gas station uniform, sat down and gulped down half a bottle of wine. It was 5:00 pm. He had just lost his temp job at the gas station. He felt panicked and felt like a loser, and he desperately needed someone to talk to. He knew he could find it at ELEM's Coffee & Small Talk - Hafuch Al Hafuch Center.
Eliran was sexually abused as a child by his stepfather from ages 7-10. When he misbehaved or even at random times, Eliran’s stepfather would punish him by sexually and physically abusing him. Eliran would be sitting in his room working on his computer, and his stepfather would storm in and violently throw him on the floor. It is to no surprise that Eliran turned to drugs at a young age to escape the reality of constant abuse. Eliran felt alone, unloved, and extremely depressed.
For Eliran, ELEM became family. He goes to The Center three times a week to talk to the ELEM counselors and volunteers who truly care about his well-being. At ELEM, Eliran and many other youth and young adults receive compassion and care, something they received little of from their parents.
To mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, we wanted to highlight Eliran’s story to give you a greater understanding of the child abuse that exists in Israel. Eliran’s story is part of our Motivational Monday’s series where we’ll share a personal story of an Israeli youth who has overcome extraordinary challenges.
Here is a typical meeting of ELEM's Coffee and Small Talk - Hafuch Al Hafuch Center in Israel.