This Hanukkah Give the Gift of Truth

The Media Line led twenty years ago in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. Please support us with your generous contributions:
Donate
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays
The Media Line
Study Shows 315% Jump in Domestic Violence Cases in Israel During 1st Pandemic Year
(Pixabay)

Study Shows 315% Jump in Domestic Violence Cases in Israel During 1st Pandemic Year

Ahead of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, figures show 26 women were murdered by their partners in Israel in 2020

The number of domestic violence complaints between spouses in Israel jumped by 315 percent in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study released on Sunday.

Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which takes place on November 25, the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) releases an annual report. As part of its research, WIZO collected data from government ministries, the State Comptroller’s office, the Israel Police and the Israel Prison Service.

WIZO’s data showed that 26 women were murdered in Israel in 2020, compared to 17 in 2019. There was also a massive uptick in the number of distress calls made to the 118 domestic violence hotline, from 2,286 calls in 2019 to 5,866 calls a year later, a 157% increase. Of these, more than half were instances of spousal violence, also known as intimate partner violence; the number of calls related to spousal violence jumped from 688 calls in 2019 to 2,853 calls in 2020, a 315% spike.

According to Rivka Neumann, director of WIZO’s Division for the Advancement of Women, the increase in domestic violence was felt across all sectors of Israeli society and was linked directly to the pandemic.

“Everywhere you look, it’s as if someone has lit a fire,” Neumann told The Media Line. “During lockdowns women and children found themselves stuck inside homes with an abusive person.”

“There was no way for them to go outside and they couldn’t go to school or work,” she said. “This combination of locking people indoors and being [in close proximity] to a violent man resulted in a rise in domestic violence cases.”

Overall, the Israel Police registered 20,140 violence offenses and threats that took place between couples in 2020, an 11.6% rise over the previous year.

Of the 26 women murdered in 2020, 13 were killed at the hands of their partners, compared to 5 in 2019. Notably, 4 out of the 13 women had previously filed a complaint with police before they were murdered and 31.2% of the suspects were already known to police.

“We’re running into much more serious cases,” Neumann affirmed. “The financial difficulties, being forced to stay inside – all of these internal and external crises linked to the pandemic led to families that had never had issues before entering this cycle of violence.”

Instances of domestic violence also rose over the same period for male victims. In fact, there was a 43% jump in such complaints, from 1,003 in 2019 to 1,431 in 2020.

While Neumann is hopeful that these worrisome numbers will improve over the coming years as pandemic-related restrictions are eased, she argued that the damage wrought in 2020 would have repercussions for years to come. Moreover, those affected by PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, will require extensive help.

All of these internal and external crises linked to the pandemic led to families that had never had issues before entering this cycle of violence

“Trauma is like a wound – if you don’t take care of it, it will get infected and spread,” she explained. “I call on the Israeli government to take on these findings and translate them into long-term [programs] because we have many more families that have entered the cycle of violence and we’re seeing new types of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Similarly, World WIZO Chairperson Anita Friedman also called on the Israeli government to step up efforts to combat what she referred to as a “real plague.”

“Another woman murdered; another story that turns one’s stomach,” Friedman said in a statement provided to The Media Line.

“If the state is not upset by each of these murders, if a national state of emergency is not declared, and if government ministers’ schedules are not put on hold in a national effort to stop the bloodshed and suffering that are being passed down from generation to generation – then we have failed as a society,” she said.

 

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.