Livni, Michaeli and Lavie 370.
(photo credit: Knesset Spokesman's Office)
Judges will undergo sensitivity training about sexual-assault cases, Justice
Minister Tzipi Livni said at a meeting of the Knesset Committee for the
Advancement of the Status of Women on Monday.
The meeting came days after
Judge Nissim Yeshaya said during a trial that some women enjoy rape. He resigned
later that day, following public outcry.
“I couldn’t imagine that in this
day and age a judge could say such words. This requires immediate intensive
care,” Livni stated.
“When I heard what Judge Yeshaya said, my first
phone call was to the court administrator.
I told him all judges should
participate in workshops so they understand the depth of the harm caused by
Judges in family courts are already required to undergo
sensitivity training, but rape cases are brought before criminal
“I won’t just make a declaration,” Livni added, promising to make
sure the new policy is implemented and to update the committee.
explained that cases like this have ramifications on women’s willingness to
bring forward their complaints and testify in court. Many women are still
uncomfortable or embarrassed to do so, feelings that Livni called
Knesset Committee on the Advancement of the Status of Women
chairwoman Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said she did not expect her committee to have
to deal with sexual assault so often.
“We have a very advanced law for 15
years, but it seems like nothing has happened since then. This is a red light.
Hasn’t the time come for us to check what we’ve accomplished?” Lavie
The Yesh Atid MK called for every judge to go through several
training sessions for dealing with cases of rape and sexual
Court Administrator Michael Spitzer read a statement from
Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, saying that the public outrage at
Yeshaya’s statement matches the position of the court.
rulings in courts over the years shows that they made a significant contribution
to anchoring a woman’s right to her body, to protecting the rights of women and
men from sex crimes,” Grunis said.
The statement from Grunis quoted the
following ruling: “It is difficult to express in words the severity and breadth
of the harm caused to victims of sex crimes. In the courts’ rulings it says more
than once that serious sex crimes are equal to murdering the soul of the victim,
leaving scars that will not heal.”
Spitzer asked that women who hear an
“unusual statement” should notify him.
“We have zero tolerance for this
kind of behavior,” he stated.