Abuse (Illustrative Photo).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
A third of Israelis know a woman suffering from some form of violence, according to a survey released by WIZO on Tuesday.
The Women’s International Zionist Organization released the survey on violence against women in Israel to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women observed annually on November 25. The survey is part of a wider campaign launched by WIZO to call on men to join the fight against domestic violence and change the perception that domestic violence is an extreme or marginal phenomenon related only to women.
According to the findings, a third of the public knows of a woman who is close to them suffering from domestic violence – 80 percent reported verbal abuse, another third also reported physical abuse, and an additional 30% reported general violence.
One of every four Israelis knows a man who acts violently toward his significant other – of these 90% employ verbal abuse, a third general violence, and a quarter physical violence, according to the report.
The survey found that 94% of the Israeli public said they would act to help if they detected domestic violence toward someone close to them. More than a third said they would prefer to directly approach the woman or the couple and not report the incident to the authorities. Only 5% said they would approach the violent male partner.
In addition, 20% would contact the police, 16% would contact welfare authorities, and 19% would contact nonprofit organizations dealing with domestic violence.
“The initial tendency to turn to the victim instead of the perpetrator – this is a misconception placing the responsibility to end the violence on the victim,” said Rebecca Neumann, the director of the advancement of the status of women at WIZO and the initiator of the survey.
The figures are encouraging with respect to the responsibility the public feels to do its part to reduce the phenomenon of domestic violence, though it shows the reluctance of the public to place the responsibility on the violent man, she said.
The organization also released its annual index on domestic violence on Tuesday, revealing that every day 65 new cases of domestic violence are opened and that during the past year there were some 7,000 women being treated as victims of abuse.
The findings also indicated that during the past year there was a 200% increase in the number of women who suffered from some form of domestic violence after giving birth.
The survey examined the stances of the Israeli public with regards to violence.
Nearly half of Israelis, some 42%, responded that verbal abuse was not a form of violence – 50% of men compared to 37% of women. Roughly half of the public did not believe that a man dismissing or rejecting his female partner’s views was violence – 51% of men compared to 30% of women. Furthermore, a third of Israelis believe that if a man asks for forgiveness after verbally abusing his partner then he should not be considered a violent man.
The findings indicated that 20% of the public felt it was okay for a man to prevent his female partner from going out at night if he suspects she might be cheating on him.
The survey also cited that 86% of the public believe that violent men can be rehabilitated.
Furthermore, a quarter of Israelis said they would be willing to actively volunteer to help raise awareness and prevent domestic violence.
The survey was conducted by Rushinek Research Institute among 507 Jewish respondents.