Domestic violence (illustrative) 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Seventy-two percent of Jewish Israelis do not trust the police in protecting
women victims of domestic violence and their children, according to a survey
released on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,
which was marked on Monday.
The survey, which was conducted by the
Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) among 504 respondents
constituting a representative sample of the Jewish population, aimed to examine
public perceptions regarding the government’s treatment of domestic violence and
its ability to protect women and children victims of violence.
to the data, half of Israelis know at least one woman who experiences violence
of some kind from her husband. Among them, about a third indicated that the
woman they know suffers from physical violence, while the rest said the violence
was verbal and emotional.
The vast majority – 96% – of the respondents
said they would intervene and try to help if they ever saw signs of domestic
violence on a relative, friend or neighbor.
The findings also showed that
only close to half of the respondents would turn to friends and family if they
had themselves suffered from such abuse.
In addition, while 70% of the
public believes that violent men can be rehabilitated and escape the circle of
violence with proper treatment, 80% still favors stricter penalties against
domestic violence offenders.
About 90% of respondents also said that they
support the use of electronic anklets on violent men, which would alert
authorities and women if the offender approaches too close to where she is and
violates a restraining order.
Moreover, the majority of respondents
indicated that they are not satisfied with the state’s handling of the problem
of domestic violence and believe that the government does not allocate enough
resources to tackle the issue.
Gila Oshrat, chairwoman of WIZO Israel,
said on Monday that the results of the study attest to the fact that the public
is not indifferent to the phenomenon of domestic violence and understands that
this is a national social problem, not just a problem for women.
also called on the government to “make a historic decision and establish a
national authority to coordinate the handling of the phenomenon of domestic
violence – from formulating policy and legislation through operating education
and prevention to treatment and rehabilitation of victims and
“WIZO will continue to do everything possible to allow
families to live a better life outside the circle of violence,” she
The organization held a rally in memory of the women murdered by
their spouse or family members on Sunday, as the number rose from 19 women to 20
women, after a man in his late 60s from the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem
stabbed his wife to death.
Labor MK Merav Michaeli also submitted a bill
to the Knesset last week, requesting the establishment of courts dedicated
exclusively to dealing with domestic violence.