Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra announced plans on Tuesday to pass legislation in the Knesset to enable women threatened or beaten by their spouses to receive panic distress buttons, which could be used to alert the police.
Ezra based his decision on the findings of an experiment held over the summer during which distress buttons were installed in the homes of 33 battered women in the Netanya area who had obtained restraining orders against their spouses. Ezra's decision came the same day a special session of the Knesset convened to discuss domestic violence.
According to the findings, 90 percent of the women said they were not attacked during the period the distress button was installed in their homes. 65 percent of the women said their spouses were deterred from visiting them as they had done in the past after they were told about the installation of the button. 94 percent of the women said they felt safer following the installation and 80 percent said the button had saved their lives from a "clear and present danger."
"The distress button is vital for those women who are in danger," Ezra wrote in a letter he sent Tuesday to Likud MK Inbal Gavrieli - head of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. "According to the findings, the installation of the buttons in the women's homes enables the police to provide a better response."