Photo: AP
Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo: AP

Netanyahu: Violence against women no different than terrorism

In special ministerial committee meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu promises to make full use of underutilized budgets to combat domestic abuse, asserts handling should be two-pronged: assistance to battered women and harsher punishments to abusive men.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a special ministerial committee on Wednesday morning to discuss the fight against domestic violence a day after demonstrators across the country protested against government inaction on the matter.



"I see violence against women as terrorism for all intents and purposes," Netanyahu said.


One of the main points of criticism made by protest organizers was that authorities are not making use of a budget allocated for the matter.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the committee meeting (Photo: AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the committee meeting (Photo: AP)


"The victims are women who suffer from violence and beatings, and we are committed to implement the existing plans," the prime minister said. "I understand there is a larger budget than I thought, but it is not being utilized properly. A budget that is not utilized is like it doesn't exist at all. We know what sums we have (at our disposal), and we will now act to get these funds out. If necessary, we'll add funding too."


In addition to helping victims, the prime minister said, steps need to be taken to handle the abusive men. "You don't handle terrorism by only treating the victim. No one would imagine fighting terrorism without handling the terrorists. Those who can be rehabilitated, will be. But primarily we need punishment for these criminals," Netanyahu said.


Echoing the protesters' criticism, Netanyahu noted that "my impression is that our different systems are, in many ways, paralyzed and not doing this (handling the abusive men). I saw the raw data, and it is very problematic. That is why we need to act against the abusive husbands as well, and that's what is missing. Our entire discourse is lacking, because we're only talking about one side and not the other."


Protest at Rabin Square against domestic abuse (Photo: AP)
Protest at Rabin Square against domestic abuse (Photo: AP)


The prime minister stressed that while the state should willingly offer "the compassion, the assistance, and a warm shoulder for battered women and their children," there should also be "a punch to the face of these abusive men."


He said he would set goals to that end and convene the committee every two weeks to ensure the goals are being met, as well as to receive reports on what is being done.


Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan noted he prepared a multi-year plan to bolster the fight against domestic abuse by giving the police and the welfare authorities the tools they need to combat the phenomenon, including harsher punishments.


"In the different government ministries, everyone does what he can, and at the police this is at the top of the list of priorities," Erdan said. "The punishments must create deterrence."


Netanyahu ordered to expedite the legislative process on a bill proposal by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Minister Erdan to combat domestic abuse using technological supervision.


According to the bill proposal, an abusive man will be supervised using an ankle monitor that includes GPS technology that would be able to show authorities where he is at any given moment. This, in turn, would stop attackers from surprising their victims.


"This will give women the freedom they deserve, without having to fear that the violent man will violate the restraining order. In the case of violation, law enforcement authorities would be able to intervene immediately," Erdan explained.


"It should not be the women who are hiding—the abusive criminals should be kept away," Shaked said. "Thanks to this new technology, we would be able to turn the tables and free women from the grasp of the violent attackers."


Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel said that "the very fact the prime minister is convening all of the ministries' representatives, it'll solve the problems. There is a lot on the agenda, we need to do everything from a holistic perspective and with the investment of budgets. Only a committee headed by the prime minister can solve the problem." She added that the murder of women "keeps me up at night."




פרסום ראשון: 12.05.18, 12:05
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