Tzipi Hotovely 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset Committee on the Status of Women will on Wednesday weigh the options
for creating a national authority dedicated to tackling domestic violence and
abuse against women.
Four dead in two domestic murder-suicides in North
Na’amat to gov't: Establish body to fight domestic violence
“There are too many cases that are falling through
the cracks and there needs to be better cooperation between the police, social
workers and the justice system,” committee chairwoman MK Tzippi Hotovely (Likud)
told The Jerusalem Post. “There needs to be a national body that checks all
complaints and follows up on cases to protect the women.”
comments came just days after two women were murdered
by their husbands, who
then committed suicide.
On Sunday morning, Olga Mazur was stabbed to
death by her husband at their home in Kiryat Ata; shortly after, he committed
Later that day, Miri Klein, a social worker from Massad near
Tiberias, was shot and killed by her estranged husband, who also took his own
life. In both cases, the husbands had been reported to the authorities and both
men were subject to criminal proceedings.
These two murders have brought
to six the number of women in acts of domestic violence so far this year. During
the same period last year three women were murdered, with 19 women being killed
under such circumstances in all of 2010.
Wednesday’s meeting in the
Knesset would hopefully provide the blueprint for what type of format such a
national authority would take, Hotovely said.
Representatives from the
government bodies responsible for combating domestic abuse and violence against
women, as well as leaders of women’s organizations, are expected to take part in
“We need to look at different cases and assess the dangers
facing all women,” said Hotovely, adding that one of the weak points is the
rehabilitation treatment for violent men, which is not compulsory.
with creating a national authority to tackle domestic violence, Hotovely said
she is also drafting a law that will require men to undergo treatment for
violent behavior, as well as legislation that will obligate both professionals
and members of the public to report on cases of suspected domestic
Talia Livni, president of Na’amat, who suggested the idea of a
coordinating body against domestic violence to Hotovely, told the Post: “There
is no doubt that there needs to be one body that coordinates all the services
and authorities working with these families.
“It is not acceptable that
when such an incident occurs, the police blame the social welfare services and
the social welfare services blame the state prosecutors and so on,” continued
Livni, a trained lawyer. “There needs to be one authority that is responsible
for this issue so that women will feel safe after they have lodged a complaint
against their husband or partner.”
Also unsure exactly what format such
an authority would take, Livni highlighted that its responsibilities should
include following up on complaints and providing rehabilitation for the men, as
well as creating awareness and providing education to prevent domestic
“It is not enough that the government relies on the non-profit
sector to do this work,” she added. “The government needs to invest money into
this endeavor so that we can save lives.”
Shira Bernstein, social
services director for non-profit Lema’an Achai, which provides a wide range of
social services to residents in Ramat Beit Shemesh, said she believed that one
of the issues was the lengthy bureaucratic process, between when a woman
initially complains about domestic violence to when the man is either prosecuted
“It takes a very long time from when the women complain to
when the man might be found guilty and during that time there are many
stresses,” she explained to the Post. “The children might be angry with their
mother for complaining against their father or the family might live in fear
that the husband will return at any time.”
Bernstein described one case
late last year where just weeks after the mother had complained about her
husband and a restraining order had been placed on him, the man returned and
attempted to set fire to the house with his family inside.
“It was a
horrific situation,” she said.
“He poured gasoline on his children while
they slept in their beds and then locked himself in the bathroom so he would
Luckily, continued Bernstein, “Everyone managed to escape and
this extreme act meant the father was immediately jailed, but the family is
still afraid he will get out and hurt them.
“Women need to feel more
secure after they have complained to the police,” she said, adding that the
creation of a national authority to follow up on such cases would be greatly