72% don’t trust police to protect women, children from domestic violence

According to WIZO survey, half of all Israelis know at least one woman who experiences violence of any kind from her husband.

Domestic violence (illustrative) 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
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.
According 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.
Oshrat 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 perpetrators.”
“WIZO will continue to do everything possible to allow families to live a better life outside the circle of violence,” she added.
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.