Domestic violence (illustrative) 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Women’s International Zionist Organization and Labor MK Merav Michaeli
submitted a bill to the Knesset on Monday requesting the establishment of courts
exclusively dedicated to dealing with domestic violence in Israel.
are over 300 such specialized courts operating in countries around the world,
including the US, the UK, Canada and Spain.
In Israel, specialized courts
exist for youth, family issues and drugs.
According to WIZO, the
initiative will help tighten the cooperation between law enforcement and care
service in order to professionalize and improve the handling of domestic
violence cases while addressing the needs of victims and perpetrators
“When it comes to family, divorce and domestic violence [something
is] specifically required, beyond deciding who is right and who is wrong,”
Michaeli said. “Dealing with fathers, mothers and especially children suffering
from violence requires expertise on how to help and protect all
“Special courts for domestic violence will greatly benefit not
only the person who needs them, but also our entire society in dealing with the
phenomenon,” she said.
The courts, as described in the draft law
proposal, will be established on the basis of “one judge for one
This means that each case of domestic violence will be treated
by the same judge across the legal process.
This, the bill says, will
allow for better monitoring of law enforcement and treatment as well as shorten
the legal process.
Additionally, in the US, the establishment of
specialized courts has led to an increased participation rate of violent men in
Chairwoman of WIZO Israel Gila Oshrat said that
“the government should make a historical decision to promote the establishment
of these courts, so we can significantly reduce harm to women and children and
promote the rehabilitation of perpetrators.”
“This is of most important
social interest,” she said.
The draft law was submitted to the Knesset
during a discussion on violence toward women held on Monday in the presence of
Judge Judy Harris Kluger, a US senior criminal judge of the Domestic Violence
Court of the State of New York.
Last week, the Knesset had approved an
amendment to National Insurance Law according to which women who had been
victims of domestic violence and have been staying in shelters for battered
women for over a month will receive income support from the National Insurance
In the past year, 19 women were murdered by their husbands or
family members in Israel. In addition, some 11,000 investigations were launched
following complaints of domestic violence and some 15,000 inquiries were made
into centers for the treatment and prevention across the country.
agencies estimate that there are about 200,000 victims of domestic violence in