'It's criminal to use child actors in domestic violence ad'

MK Shasha-Biton says using children to promote women's organizations' agenda is a crime, notes statistics on children abused by mothers.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yifat Shasha-Biton
Yifat Shasha-Biton
Knesset spokesperson

Knesset's Special Committee for the Rights of the Child Chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu) slammed WIZO's video advertisement showing child actors speaking about abusive fathers.

"I believe it is a crime to take children and place them in this kind of a situation," Shasha-Biton said.

"As the Chairwoman of the Knesset's Special Committee for the Rights of the Child, I receive endless petitions from children who experienced violence at the hands of their mothers," she told Army Radio in an interview. "And if we want to investigate, we'll find that there are a lot of instances of child abuse perpetrated by the children's mothers.

"Usually, people try to explain this statistic by saying that mothers spend more time with their children than fathers do. But in my opinion, we need to change our assumptions. This type of talk belongs to a bygone time."

Interviewer Amir Ivgi noted that it's difficult to cease the "battle" talk, because of how women's organizations conduct themselves. Shasha-Biton agreed.

"These organizations, especially in the recent campaign [mentioned above] externalize the war between the genders," she said. "This war may have been relevant several years ago. It may be that only the holy work of WIZO and Na'amat brought us to where we are today. But today our reality is different. It's time for us to switch from language of war to a language of partnership."

"Let's look at feminism in the Knesset. Let's take a look at the legislation over the past two years, which encourages equal parenting and allows a man to spend more time with his children, even when they are infants. We've basically said men are capable of doing this. So what happens when a couple divorces? As soon as they divorce, the father loses his abilities, his qualities, his right to spend time with his children?"

In a different interview, Shasha-Biton noted that while she sits in the Knesset, her husband watches the children.

"Let's free women from their historical bondage, from the idea that the woman is the one who has to care for the children, educate them, stop her career in order to take care of the home," she said. "Take me, for example. I'm sitting here with you. I have a husband who is present, and who is my partner in raising our children. He's taking care of them right now. If, G-d forbid, I would divorce tomorrow, would I have to stop everything so I can take care of my children at home?"

Arutz Sheva journalist and chairman of the "Familists" NGO Gil Ronen called on Shasha-Biton to hold an emergency meeting of the committee, in order to bring about the desired change. He also called on her to demand a "comprehensive, true, brave, and fair" survey of abuse in the family. This survey would investigate violence perpetrated against children, as well as violence perpetrated by women, not just against women.

"Nothing will happen," he promised. "We will continue to take care of women. No one wants to see a woman with a black eye, or a woman who is afraid to complain. That's not us."

WIZO declined to comment.