Due to the coronavirus crisis in the country, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI) believes that there has been an increase in reports of domestic abuse. According to their data, the national WhatsApp hotline has seen a rise of 95% in reporting activity. This information was presented by the organization on Wednesday, just before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
In addition to these horrifying statistics, 20 women have been reportedly murdered all across the country. Their deaths were attributed to various acts of domestic violence. Despite the spike in numbers, the judiciary wing just recently closed almost two-thirds of sexual assault cases. It was said that these cases lacked sufficient evidence.
The Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality also presented some data of their own on Monday. The organization from Knesset revealed that they had investigated and concluded that there has been a rise of 33% in sexual abuse cases across the country. These cases have occurred since the coronavirus pandemic struck the country. 62% of the cases reported have been committed against minors.
Thus, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was welcomed with open arms. It is an internationally-recognized day, devoted to ensuring that domestic abuse is eliminated from society. In honor of the day, Aida Touma-Suleiman, the Joint List MK, joined hands with the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO).
Together they have decided to submit a bill to the Knesset, which will ensure that men who have restraining orders to their name because of a domestic abuse allegation are seeking treatment. Until now, the judge would consider treatment only after they decided that the perpetrator needed to be especially evaluated. However, even this option was rarely used.
As per the new bill, it will be mandatory for the judge to order that the defendant undergoes a violence evaluation. It will assess their stability and suitability and then conclude whether they require treatment or not.
A woman named Wafa Abahara was murdered last week by her former husband, who has been evading the clutches of the officials since then. People believe that if the judge had ordered the alleged murderer to seek treatment when the victim initially filed a restraining order, she may as well have been alive. Touma-Suleiman and WIZO are quite hopeful about the bill being approved in the Knesset.
The Chairwoman of World WIZO, Anite Friedman talked to the public about this initiative. She said that women want an initiative that ensures that men take the therapy they need. According to her, it is not an issue for only women, but the entire society at large. She urged people to evolve their thinking and come together to support this initiative.
Previously, the Bar Ilan University had teamed up with WIZO and published a report on how effective emotional treatment is when it comes to treating violent men. They published a study in the year 2018, in which they discussed how this method has proved to be a successful tactic in combating violent tendencies.