In an effort to combat domestic violence, government authorities teamed up on Wednesday to support the development of technological and innovative approaches in eradicating such tragedies.
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, UN Ambassador-designate Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the Michal Sela Forum and the UJA-Federation of New York joined together to support the notion.
Google president Jacquelline Fuller even pledged $300,000 to the Michal Sela Forum, intended to aid domestic violence survivors. The grant will support the “Nothing about us without us,” program designed to teach survivors technological and business skills and help them build a repertoire to guarantee livelihood and a stable environment.
An Israeli NGO, the Michal Sela Forum, was created in memory of Michal Sela, who was allegedly murdered by her husband in October 2019. The charges against her husband describe him as stabbing her repeatedly in their home in Motza outside Jerusalem and staying next to her body for about 17 hours with their infant daughter in the house, before taking the baby girl to a neighbor and asking for help.
“Domestic violence is a despicable and horrifying phenomenon and eliminating it from our homes and societies must be a priority for all of us," Erdan said. "We need to fight this in the same way we fight against COVID-19 and terrorism. Terror at home is terror. We can no longer wait for a life to be ruined or taken before we act.
"If combating domestic violence was a priority for UN member states, they would modify and apply existing technologies to fight against it," he added. "They would also use the wiretapping capabilities applied to preventing terrorist attacks, to preventing the next case of terror in the home. We call on all countries to adopt the necessary tools to bring an end to it."
The Biden administration has also put domestic violence under the spotlight, according to Thomas-Greenfield. “It is time to bring gender-based violence out of the shadows – it is time to shine a light on it. And it is time to treat this like an emergency, with the urgency that it demands,” she said.
In attendance, actress Gal Gadot also spoke out against the phenomenon. “More than ever, this event today is so essential. It is time for a global forum like the United Nations to become involved in such an essential fight, a battle between life and death," she said. "We must share our knowledge and tools to prevent even one more woman from being a victim of abuse. Alone, we’re strong – but together, we’re stronger.”
The event coincided with the US House of Representatives decision to move forward with the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday, which will state, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex."