"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 [still] customary to wash one's dirty linen at home."
Hospital Tries To Help Battered Hasidic Women
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Bikur Holim Hospital in Jerusalem has begun handing out Yiddish language pamphlets explaining domestic violence and urging hasidic women to seek help if they have been battered, Ynet reports.
Stop Hitting Women and Hitting At All warns that "hitting and torture in a haredi home could even lead to death."
While the hasidic women who have been battered are encouraged to get help from police, the hospital’s doctors, and women's organizations including Na’amat (the largest women's organization in Israel with a reported membership of 800,000) the pamphlet only provides contact information for associations and organizations specializing in helping hasidic women who have been raped or battered. It does not include the names or contact information for organizations which treat all Israelis, like the hotline of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel.
Haredi and hasidic organizations tend not to report these crimes to police or cooperate with law enforcement.
The former director-general of the Israel Women's Lobby, Nurit Tzur, told Ynet that she believes that the incidence rate of domestic violence may not be higher among hasidim or haredim.
"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 [still] customary to wash one's dirty linen at home," Tzur said.
A similar effort several years ago that involved training women’s mikva attendants in Brooklyn to spot the signs of physical and sexual abuse and to have them provide battered or abused women with information on resources, including access to shelters for battered women, was thwarted by haredi rabbis before it could take hold.