Batsheva, a frail and frightened seven year old girl with wavy brown hair, arrived at the Neve Michael Crisis Center ten months ago with sadness in her eyes and in her young heart. She came from a home where her siblings were victims of sexual abuse and incest. As the youngest member of this dysfunctional family, her role in life was to stand watch at the bedroom door while her brother and sister were being raped. From up close she saw and heard the terrible things that would happen to her if she would continue living with her abusive parents. She really didn’t have a choice in the matter, and had no idea that in normal homes children received love and attention. The “norm” as she understood it was the very sick situation she had been thrown into that ruined her childhood.
Then one day a woman from the Welfare Department, accompanied by a police officer, got her safely out of her “home” and delivered her to our doorstep.
From the outset we knew that we had on our hands a hardcore case of a neglected and emotionally abused child. All the familiar symptoms were there: her downheartedness, fear and confusion; her inability to look you in the eye and seeming mistrust of all adults.
After a few difficult months in the Crisis Center Batsheva was assigned to a “Family Home” in the Children’s Village. Batsheva’s new “sisters” are eight little girls (ages 6-10) who were brought to Neve Michael along with their own horror stories. For the first time in her young life Batsheva is finding out how it feels to receive love and attention from kind adults, which aside from her caring adoptive parents include two dedicated National Service girls and a warm-hearted house mother.
Bat Sheva was assigned to our Sulamot (Scales) music program, which is run by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and has proven therapeutic value for children at risk. This groundbreaking means of therapy has worked wonders at Neve Michael, which was selected for the Scales pilot program five years ago, and now its magic is working for Batsheva. In a short matter of time she has learned how to play the violin in an orchestra with other boys and girls and has even performed with them on stage. Barely ten months after her arrival at the Children’s Village, Batsheva is adapting well, interacting with other children and gaining confidence with each passing day.