Israeli Women’s Protest Leaders Demand 250 Million Shekels Budget to Fight Domestic Violence

Other demands include the establishment of a government authority to coordinate the fight against violence toward women and cancelling the emergency legislation allowing security guards to bring their guns home

Lee Yaron
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Women protest violence against women at Dizingoff center, Tel Aviv, on Monday, December 17, 2018.
Women protest violence against women at Dizingoff center, Tel Aviv, on Monday, December 17, 2018.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Lee Yaron

The organizers of the protest against violence toward women presented a list of demands on Sunday to the government, including the allocation of 250 million shekels ($66.3 million) for a program to fight domestic violence. They are also calling for the program to be passed by law and for the implementation of all the recommendations of the interministerial committee on the matter.

Other demands include the establishment of a government authority to coordinate the fight against violence toward women, a comprehensive change in the police’s policies on handling domestic violence, cancelling the expanded criteria for granting gun licenses and cancelling the emergency legislation allowing security guards to bring their guns home with them after work.

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Also on the list of demands: Expanding centers for treating violent men and establishing and developing shelters that will serve the entire population, including some for young Arab women, hiring Arab social workers in the welfare departments, allocating an additional 40 permanent positions for social workers in police stations, creating solutions for special needs groups, including women at high risk, offering occupational rehabilitation for the victims of violence, and passing immediate legislation that would require “electronic handcuffs” for suspects and men who are under a restraining order.

The organizers also want a comprehensive change in the police’s policies include broad training of investigators for dealing with violence against women and for providing an appropriate response for victims and those filing complaints about threats, reinforcing street patrols all over the country, immediate police handling of murder cases, reopening murder investigations of closed cases in which women were killed, and supervision of firearms sold illegally. They are want murder by a family member to be regarded as “murder under aggravated circumstances.”

The government’s plan to fight domestic violence was approved in July 2017 but has yet to receive its budget of 250 million shekels. The plan was approved three years after an interministerial committee was established to battle Israel’s growing domestic-violence problem.

“We are sick and tired of empty promises, this is the time to wake up the government from its thundering silence before another woman is murdered in Israel,” said an activist at the headquarters of the women’s protest.

“This is the time to move up a level and realize that those entrusted with our lives and our security have failed in their jobs. There are concrete solutions, what is missing is taking responsibility and leadership. We are stepping up the protest and will not stop until the solutions are put into action and implemented,” said the organizers of the women’s protest.”

Last year, Haaretz found that of 126 women killed by their partners between 2006 to 2016, 35 percent had complained to the police and half of the cases were known to the welfare services.

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