The Public Security Ministry in cooperation with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) declared on Sunday that this week, May 11 to May 18 will be National Violence Prevention Week.
During the week, the ministry will promote a variety of activities dedicated to increasing awareness against the rising phenomenon of violence in Israel.
“The issue of personal safety of the residents and citizens of the State of Israel is at the center of the agenda of the Public Security Ministry and different bodies. Our first goal has, and always will be, reducing the level of violence in society and increasing the sense of security,” said Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.
One of the main undertakings of the ministry as part of the week is the unveiling of a new national violence index that will compile into one directory all relevant data on the issue, from sources such as the police, education ministry, health ministry and welfare ministry.
The aim is to provide a full and objective picture of violence that will allow the parties involved to access all the pertinent information in order to treat the phenomenon and formulate appropriate policies.
In addition, the index aims to promote cooperation between government agencies and NGOs as well as encourage a public dialogue on the matter.
“Today there is a vital need for the development of a tool for analyzing and understanding the trends of violence in Israel. The National Violence Index is one of the most significant steps in this regard. This is the first attempt in the country to produce a snapshot and scientific analysis that is orderly, continuous and comparable with the phenomenon of violence in Israel,” Aharonovitch said.
The launch of the index is set to take place at the first National Conference on Personal Security on May 13 at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.
In addition, the Public Security Ministry and the IFCJ launched a media campaign, featuring 16 celebrities and opinion makers who volunteered, calling to stop the violence.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ founder and president, said: “Acts of violence against seniors, adults and youth alike, which we have been recently witnessing, must stop. I hope that this week will send a clear social message, and the IFCJ will be a partner to any move led by the ministry promoting patience and honor in Israeli society.”
During the week, major news outlets in Israel, such as army radio, Kol Israel, and the television networks, will devote a significant portion of news broadcasts to the issue of the prevention of violence.
The Knesset will also participate in the events, and will house two exhibitions – an exhibit of photographs by the artists participating in the Stop the Violence campaign and an exhibit of the Israeli Advertising Association and graduates of the School of Advertising Professionals (Habetzefer) entitled “Stopping the violence – Violence is a national calamity.”
In addition, numerous Knesset committees will convene to discuss issues relating to violence and its prevention.