Israeli MPs consider false domestic claims
July 15, 2017 4 comments
A meeting staged by Israeli MPs this week attracted angry protests and petitions calling for its cancellation.
The Knesset Committee on Distributive Justice and Social Equality discussed an alleged rise in the number of Israeli women making false claims of domestic violence against their husbands. The discussion was entitled: Dealing with False Complaints – Are Men Equal in the Eyes of the Law?
Prior to the meeting campaigners claimed the meeting was an attempt to silence women who had experienced domestic violence.
Aida Touma- Sliman is chair of the parliamentary Committee on the Advancement of the Status of Women. She described the meeting as “horrifying and shameful” because “16 women were murdered by their husbands in Israel this year, four in one week this month.”
Meanwhile, Knesset Legal Advisor Eyal Yinon insisted the subject of the meeting was outside the Committee’s remit. The latter problem was overcome by an impromptu vote extending its legal authority, The Jerusalem Post reports.
The meeting eventually went ahead without protests, with a spokeswoman for the Israel Women’s Network declaring:
“The men’s organizations can talk to themselves.”
Committee chair Miki Zohar of the centre-right Likud party said:
“I’m sorry women’s organizations chose to boycott the meeting, but it’s their choice and I respect it.”
“The fact is, many women are victims of violence, and some were murdered… At the same time, we have to say there are men who paid a heavy price because of false complaints. There is a phenomenon of many women deciding this is an efficient tool to reach goals related to custody, promotions at work, revenge for cheating men or things like that.”
MK Joav Kisch, meanwhile, said he was concerned by the rising suicide rate among divorced men in Israel.
“Why do divorced men commit suicide? Because normative men are thrown in jail. I want to tear the mask off this phenomenon.”
At the meeting, MPs – called MKs or Members of the Knesset – heard that Israeli Police receive approximately 20,000 reports of domestic violence per year, but around 12,000 of these are dropped for different reasons and about 180 cases are investigated for suspected false claims.
Divorced father Jesse Shalev said that when a wife makes claims of violence against her husband he is assumed to be guilty by the Israeli courts.
He told the Jerusalem Post:
“Men need to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, like every other crime. If there’s no benefit to making a false claim, then they won’t make them. At the first complaint, he is automatically considered a criminal with a two-week restraining order.”
“False claims are often used to ‘prove’ the husband is not worthy of being a parent, to get the wife more custody and child support – and that’s without any proof. So many problems would be solved by removing the guilty-until-proven-innocent standard.”
Photo of the Knesset by zeevveez via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
July 15, 2017
Categories: Family Life