Naama Zarbiv
Naama ZarbivTzurit Dia

With the media’s focus currently on the phenomenon of domestic violence against women, the head of Shovrot Shivyon (Breaking the Equality), Naama Zarbiv, presented some very surprising facts regarding violence directed not against the wife but rather the husband.

In conversation with Israel National News, Zarbiv related the background story to the facts she provided.

“Many of the men in our organization think that the figures regarding spousal abuse are symmetrical and present statistics from abroad,” Zarbiv says. “When I tried to talk about the phenomenon at a Knesset panel discussion, and requested statistics from the police so that budgets could be allocated accordingly, Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) – who was then standing in as chair of the committee – cut me off and muted my microphone, ‘explaining’ that violent women do not exist.”

“That really infuriated me,” she continues, “and I decided, in the name of freedom of information, to get hold of official police figures, because in the judicial system there’s a certain bias and we wanted to have a working figure to use.”

Zarbiv describes how “we requested statistics for grievous bodily harm (GBH), inflicted on men by women and the reverse. We especially wanted statistics for GBH because it’s something that can be proven with physical evidence, and also because a lot of people claim that while the phenomenon of spousal abuse against the husband exists, it refers to emotional abuse rather than physical.”

“The figures simply stunned us,” she says. Police statistics for 2020 showed that while 177 cases had been opened relating to the male spouse inflicting violence on the female, a whopping 2,068 cases had been opened relating to violence inflicted by the female spouse on the male.

“The police raised a question as to whether the violence committed by women could be explained as being a response to or a defense against an attack by the husband, but that still doesn’t account for the huge disparity in the figures,” Zarbiv notes. “It’s a disparity that cannot be ignored.”

“We have to realize,” she adds, “that the people who are using this battle against violence inflicted on women want to create gender discord. Most people living in Israel, and certainly most Jews, are normative people, and while there does exist a problem of violence that must be dealt with, it’s not a question of ‘women versus men.’ It’s simply a question of domestic violence and of violence in general. It’s plain untrue to present all women as victims and all men as attackers. Anyone who does try to present things that way isn’t trying to solve the problem of violence – they’re trying to incite a battle between the sexes.”

As for the question of why anyone would want to promote such an agenda, Zarbiv refers to a leaflet put out by her organization titled “Family Feminism” and explains that, “Once a revolution attains its goals, extremists enter the picture and use the same language as the revolutionaries in order to advance a radical position. This is what has happened with the feminist movement, which attained its goals a while back already. Those using feminist language today are radical feminists and ‘post-gender’ activists, and their aim is to dismantle traditional gender structure and identity – to dismantle the social structure entirely, in fact.”

“On this issue of violence, they suggest things like gender equality training – and how are such things going to address violence?” Zarbiv wonders. “Is this what’s going to solve the eternal problem of people inflicting violence on one another? But they have other motives entirely. They want to break things down, whereas we want to promote unity and social structures that support people.”

“We don’t want to see boys thinking of themselves as attackers in the making, or girls thinking of themselves as victims in the making. Both men and women have their good aspects and it’s those that should be placed center-stage and focused on in order to promote harmonious relations between the genders rather than distorting the picture. At the end of the day, promoting hatred of men can easily lead to women concluding that if men are so dangerous, it’s better not to get married at all.”