JERUSALEM (May. 26)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a public awareness campaign against domestic violence this week, saying that the only difference between the battle against family violence and terror is that the former is hidden and fought within the home.
Netanyahu said the only way to fight violence in the family is for the victim to decide to stop being one. He called on women to take their fate into their own hands and seek help.
Some 200,000 Israeli women, or one out of seven, are physically abused, but only 18,000 complaints are filed with police each year, according to government statistics.
The campaign will include televised public service messages, with a hot line number for women seeking help.
“It is hard to exact figures, because much domestic violence is hidden,” said Ronit Lev Ari, head of the department against family violence in the women’s organization Na’amat.
Lev Ari said the first step was to build awareness, and then government ministries, police and the legal system would work together to stop offenders.