Nothing happened until two years ago, when the National Council for the Child appealed to the High Court because the law had not been implemented. As a result of the subsequent pressure on the government, today there are also centers in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Nazareth with a sixth – in Ashkelon – slated to open next year.
Aviva Bar-Am writes in the Times of Israel:
…In 2002, [Israel's] Ministry of Welfare and the Municipality established a Child Protection Center in Jerusalem within whose walls everything necessary for dealing quickly, efficiently and compassionately with abused children takes place. Based on a paradigm found, at the time, in a few hundred North American cities, it operated successfully for three years before the Knesset passed a law requiring the State to establish additional centers.
But nothing happened until two years ago, when the National Council for the Child appealed to the High Court because the law had not been implemented. As a result of the subsequent pressure on the government, today there are also centers in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Nazareth with a sixth – in Ashkelon – slated to open next year.…
Jerusalem’s center, the model for those currently running elsewhere, includes social workers, a prosecutor, a forensic pediatrician, a juvenile police woman, a house mother, and a receptionist. The cheerful red-brick building in which they work is divided into two main sections: a spacious entrance and reception area with coffee and computer corners as well as the “fortress”, and a completely separate part of the building with offices, an examination room, and interview rooms.
In the United States, children of all ages are interrogated by police personnel. Here in Israel, abused youngsters — from the time they can speak up to the age of 14 — are interviewed solely by the specially trained social workers called Child Investigators (hokrei yeladim in Hebrew). Youths 14 to 18 are questioned by the police, but are also eligible for emotional, legal and moral support at the Centers.
In many other countries, including the United States, abused children are often forced to appear in court. Here, sessions in which the Child Investigator questions the child are always filmed, and can be used in court in lieu of the young victim having to give evidence in front of his or her abuser. The staff’s policewoman sits in an adjoining room during the interview. While watching on an in-house camera, she may learn important real-time clues that help in finding an abuser.…[U]ltra-Orthodox leaders have learned to trust the Center’s sensibilities, their families are appearing in increasing numbers.…
Outside of Israel the Jerusalem Center has earned a sterling reputation, and professionals visit throughout the year. “They come to learn about the services Israel provides to abused children, and are especially interested in our unique child interview process,” states Turjeman. Most recently delegations arrived from Germany, South Africa, Japan, Sweden and France.…
In other words, the Knesset passed the law at the end of Ariel Sharon's tenure as prime minister, but the successive governments headed by Ehud Olmert – since convicted of public corruption – and Benjamin Netanyahu refused to implement the law until finally the government was forced to do so by the High Court of Justice.
As for haredim trusting the Jerusalem center, that is largely wishful thinking – not fact. Most haredim still fail to report child sex abuse if the abuser is haredi and very few haredi child sex abusers are ever reported to police or any outside authority.