New ministerial committee to deal with domestic violence

PM Netanyahu and wife Sara visit shelter for abused women. Netanyahu sets up new ministerial committee to fight scourge of domestic abuse.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahus meet domestic abuse victims
Netanyahus meet domestic abuse victims
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu visited a shelter for women who have endured domestic violence Sunday morning as part of the International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Women.

During the visit, the prime minister and his wife held an open discussion with the women of the shelter, listened to the women's stories and offered them words of encouragement. Netanyahu said that the issue must be dealt with severely and that he intends to deal with the issue together with the government.

Netanyahu spoke of his visit to the shelter at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, describing it as "unsettling." He also announced the establishment of a ministerial committee headed by him on the issue of the struggle against domestic violence. The committee will also include the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Welfare, the Minister of Public Security and the Minister for Gender Equality.

"I want to tell you that I am now coming from an unsettling tour - there is no other word for it - that my wife and I made at the home for abused women in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said at the opening of the meeting.

"Of course we are against violence in general, but there are special things in this category, and the special thing is that we have to deal with women, children and families, and we do a lot more, and we have to do a lot more. This will be part of the discussion we will hold today in the government to mark the International Day for the Prevention of Violence Against Women," he said.

"But I discovered that when I talked to these women, which astonished me - woman after woman after woman - I found that we were making great efforts to be more and more able to take care of these women in the shelters and later on - they must be dealt with later because the threat did not go away, And the challenge did not go away, but I discovered that we are almost doing nothing against those who are perpetrating this crime. It is as if we were dealing with terror, and that is terrorism in every respect, and you do not deal with terrorists," he added.

"I mean not only to offer them psychological rehabilitation, which most of them do not want. If we were to try to deal with terrorists through psychological rehabilitation, this would be one approach. But first and foremost must be enforcement, deterrence, punishment," he continued. "To my amazement, I discovered there women whose husband came with a knife and not a thing was done to [the husbands]. Another husband came and opened fire in the house and nothing was done. And three brothers locked the sister, this mother, for three years in a room. They did not let her leave once from this room with, kept her baby away from her, nothing was done to them."

"Something here is lacking," Netanyahu said. "The first thing, as Herzl's great partner, Nordau, said about morality - first of all, enforcement and punishment, then morality, and here there is no enforcement, no punishment. There is only a constant fear and a trauma that is hard to describe. You see it in the women, you see it also with the cute little children that my wife and I visited."

"I want the cooperation of all the ministers and all members of the Knesset to make a profound and fundamental change here, and we have to be the world's leading country in this matter, just as we are the leading country in the war against terrorism."