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Violence against women: The shadow pandemic

i24NEWS

clock 4 min read

People protesting against violence against women in Israel, in a screen capture taken on November 25, 2021.
i24NEWSPeople protesting against violence against women in Israel, in a screen capture taken on November 25, 2021.

Domestic violence complaints in Israel spiked by over 300 percent since 2019, according to WIZO

An estimated 25 percent of Israeli women are or have been in an abusive relationship, according to i24NEWS.

For many, the most dangerous part for such women is often making the decision to seek help, fearing repercussions from their abusers, the lack of trust in the system that something will be done, or of people not believing them.

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“The reason why I left was… for my own safety, but also for my children,” a domestic abuse survivor identified as ‘B’ said in an interview with i24NEWS.

“I didn’t want [my children] to grow up thinking that this is a normal situation.”

Another domestic abuse survivor referred to as ‘E’ also told i24NEWS that her abuser began to hurt her when he realized she wanted to leave.

“First, it was more psychological violence, then it became physical and sexual violence.”

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Both women were able to flee their abusive households, finding refuge at a shelter run by Naamat, one of Israel’s leading women’s rights organizations.

Out of 43 women who lived in the center during the past year, 22 are recent immigrants to Israel.

“I made Aliyah with my husband and our children a year ago. We were new immigrants and it was difficult for us… I have no friends, no family, no place to go if I leave the apartment,” ‘E’ said.

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According to the Women’s International Zionist Organization, domestic violence complaints in Israel spiked by over 300 percent since 2019.

The number of women killed by their partners also jumped - compared to 17 women murdered per year prior to 2020, 26 were murdered since the Covid pandemic started, and 21 have already been murdered this year.

In 2017, Israel introduced a five-year plan to combat violence against women and recently allocated $50m for victim treatment, targeted law enforcement, and rehabilitating abusers.

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