Friday, November 02, 2012

Fighting violence against women, in Yiddish 

The Bikur Holim Hospital in Jerusalem has begun handing out information leaflets about violence against women – in Yiddish. The target audience: Women from Hasidic factions.

Under the title, "Stop hitting women and hitting in general," medical sources appeal to women arriving at the emergency room following recent acts of domestic or community violence, urging them not to remain silent and to try to uproot "the torturing of the soul."

The hospital also warns that "hitting and torture in a haredi home could even lead to death."

The female patients are encouraged to seek help from the police, hospital doctors and women's organizations like Na'amat.

In the leaflets, the hospital mentions names of associations and organizations specializing in caring for religious women, but fails to include organizations which treat all Israeli sectors, such as the hotline of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel.

Nurit Tzur, former director-general of the Israel Women's Lobby, believes that the incidence of domestic violence is not necessarily higher in the ultra-Orthodox sector.

"We can't say that there are sectors where it is more frequent, but there are sectors where this issue is more repressed, like among the Arabs and haredim, due to their refusal to cooperate with state authorities. There, it is customary to wash one's dirty linen at home," she says.


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