Fighting violence against women

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Unexpected guest by Ruth Rasnic

On September 15.2016 we received an unexpected guest.  The Justice Minister of Romania and

the Ambassador of Romania to |Israel with a large delegation from the Ministry, visited our Shelter.

The Mayor of Herzliya, and representatives of the Ministry of Welfare in Israel were also  present

The children’s recreation room was packed with honorable guests and L.O. staff.

The following address was given by Founder & Chair:

Dear Minister of Justice and Romania’s  Ambassador to Israel,

We are delighted to host you here with our esteemed guests, who will introduce themselves shortly.

Our Organization founded in 1977 has established and operates 3 shelters for battered women and their children out of the existing 14 shelters in Israel. We established a 24 hour hotline for women in distress operated by our trained volunteers and operate a website on D.V., keeping statistical records of women murdered by spouses and relatives since 1992. We were the first group in Israel to address the issue of women trafficked  for prostitution, and over 40 of these women resided in our shelters.  We brought the issue to the Knesset, involved the Embassies of the women who assisted them in all possible manner till they were repatriated.

Many thousands of women and children have benefited from our and other shelters in Israel.  By bringing this issue to the media, showing the pain and injustice inflicted on women and their children.

We are a feminist group, believing that human rights are women’s rights.  We maintain that no woman should be a victim to any person in her own home:  spouse, brother, father, mother in law, son…If a man’s home is his castle it must be a woman’s castle too, not her dungeon.

We are Israel’s foremost group to unify women’s organizations to join forces with us in the campaign to eliminate domestic violence.  Attended hundreds of Knesset meetings and brought forward the issue of violence at home.  We have brought about attitudinal changes in the police force, resulting in the setting up of special domestic violence units in this body.  We have addressed the problem to the Ministry of Health thus bringing about a radical change, especially in mother and child care clinics throughout Israel. The issue of D.V. was introduced to Social Services in  Israel because of our relentless efforts.

We have trained many of the existing newer shelters to empathize with victims and follow our model of work with care and compassion with the women and children. We have attended dozens of international conferences, and shared our experience with many countries.

We lecture to women’s groups. Students, police, medical professionals, judges, school children, soldiers, women’s associations.  We have invited dozens of Israeli Ministers and members of Knesset to see what we have accomplished and mainly to hear the women tell their stories, see how children learn to share their new residence and friends of different cultures and religions, get support and care from loving staff.We have been able to accomplish this with the support and assistance of the Ministry of Welfare, and our numerous donors.  Caring staff  and many dozens of volunteers.

Ruth Rasnic, Founder & Chair

No to Violence Against Women                                              15.09.2016,  Herzliya, Israel

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 A unique exhibition to commemorate International Day of Violence against Women on November 25th, will be opened in November 2016.  Participants are:  The Herzliya Artists’ Org., the Municipal Art Gallery, No to Violence Against Women, MUSE – the Educational Division of the Herzliya Museum for Modern Art, the Women’s Administration, the Art and Culture Dept. of the Herzliya Municipality.

Residents and staff from the local women’s shelter were invited to paint heads made of Styrofoam, depicting their emotions and thoughts about violence in general, with a special stress on violence against women.

These artistic creations will be displayed in a public auction. All proceeds will go towards the construction of the new shelter for women built by No to Violence  Against Women in Herzliya..

Additional donations will be most welcome.

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New beginnings for 2016

To our donors, supporters, staff and volunteers and to governmental agencies, and the shelter residents: best wishes for the New Year

Each year brings new possibilities: new opportunities for the women who come to our shelters, new challenges for our staff, and new hope and prayers for the future.
As in previous years, we are happy to bring you up to date on our activities


The Ruth Giladi Hadera shelter – A dream come true

In September 2015 we had the official opening of our new shelter in Hadera. The shelter required much planning as well as communication with our neighbors and extensive fund-raising. A great deal of thought went into meeting the needs of our women and children.
As a result of the efforts and investments and the generous contribution of the Giladi family, we succeeded in creating a shelter that can house 12 families, providing an ideal, intimate and warm environment.
In the new shelter there is a day-care facility for toddlers that provides close supervision and education as per the requirements of the Ministry of Welfare. In addition, we provide our pre-school children with ecological awareness in the lovely vegetable and herb garden.
We are extremely proud of the fact that in our new Hadera shelter there are facilities to accommodate residents with special needs.
Dalit Ashuri, who was the shelter director for many years, resigned this year in order to continue her studies. She has been replaced by Hannah Shoshani, who was previously the social worker for the Hadera shelter. We send our best wishes to both of our colleagues.


Our new Executive Director, Yael Gold

In June of this year, Yael Gold became our Executive Director. She was chosen from among many able candidates to replace Daniela Kehat, who had been our director for the past three years. Yael graduated from the Hebrew University with a B.A. in Social Work and holds an MBA from Haifa University, with specialties in not-for profit organizations, directorships, coaching and mediation. Before joining LO, Yael held senior positions in both the public and private sectors. She was an administrator in companies providing services to health and welfare agencies. She was also the director of  Micha, an NGO for services to deaf children, as well as a volunteer for several other charitable organizations.
It is not easy to take the reins of an organization in various stages of opening and building three shelters, in addition to getting to know our staff, and the particular problems and needs of our reside

Rishon LeZion shelter – continuing to grow

The Rishon shelter is operating under the magic wand of its director, Haya Burstein, and her dedicated team. Currently the shelter has a large garden where the children can play, have fun and get lots of exercise.
During 2016  we will begin to build our new shelter on the lot provided by the City of Rishon LeZion

Herzlia shelter – on our way

We have broken ground for the new Herzlia shelter, and shortly we will have the cornerstone laying ceremony. The innovative model for this new shelter incorporates an holistic concept for the needs of our women and children residents as well as the staff. Our current building has been in use since 1988 and no longer meets current requirements.
Dorit Dagan, the shelter’s dynamic director, and her expert staff, aim to provide our women and children residents with the best possible experience during their stay with us.


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Inaugurating a new home

Yesterday,we were privileged to Inaugurate our new shelter, the ruthi giladi shelter.
Our sincerest thanks to the generous donation of Aviv Giladi and the entire Giladi family and their friends. The Weinberg Foundation and many additional wonderful supporters who made it possible for us to purchase and rebuild this house. May this house be a safe haven and a real home to the women and children who come to us in their hour of great need.

(photos by Benjamin Lapid)


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A letter to the late Carmela Nakash

כרמלה נקש

My very dear Carmela,

All these years

 since you were murdered on July 18, 1979, I have been thinking of you, remembering you with pain and anguish.

At your parents’ request we named the small shelter you knew in Herzliya


The day you were murdered has changed me and shaken me up.

It has also heightened and sensitized me to the problem of terror in the home –  domestic violence.

The never ending battle, the campaign to curtail and minimize the phenomena of

violence in the home towards women and their children, at times ending with the

murder  of women and the occasional slaughter of their children.  This despicable act,

to hurt a woman where she is most vulnerable to make her suffer for the rest of her life.

The man who slaughtered you had planned this massacre.  He was not in a frenzy.  He deliberately planned to get at you.

A year earlier, after you had to leave the Haifa shelter, he broke into the premises, discovered where you lived

and injured you. Two days after he murdered you, the case was going to be heard in court.

The murderer discovered your location in Herzliya and tried to contact you several times.  He even

phoned me and I warned him to keep away.

You were so lovely that day.  Your long, shining, black hair, your pretty dress.  At the time we did not have a

wall, intercom and cameras.    A plain wire fence with green plastic covering.

When he came, after our volunteer had left the premises, you felt safe enough to talk to him and

try and coax him to give you a divorce.  When one of the residents went out,

he pushed her aside and entered the courtyard.

Then he took  the knife which he had hidden on his body and stabbed you to death in the presence

of the shocked women and children.

My darling Carmela.  You were immediately taken to the local hospital and when  I arrived a policeman

  took me aside and told me you were no longer alive.  A large dark stain on the sand at the gate

which the police would not let us cover up immediately, was all that remained.

Later on I met your noble and wonderful family.

Even today, I send them my anguish and let them know once more, how much I feel their loss.

A very special hug to your only daughter.

But from that day on, you are deep in my heart and worry about every woman who enters one of our three shelters.

Constantly wondering who can be the next murderer?  Who will be the next potential victim?

In the past thirty amossix years, hundreds of women were murdered by their spouses or close family members.

Dozens of children were victims of domestic violence and dozens of men committed suicide after murdering their spouse.

Carmela, I have never forgotten you.  I never will.

The struggle for women terrorized in their homes I will continue for as long as I live.

Ruth Rasnic

Founder & Chair

No to Violence Against Women

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Life in a Shelter for Women and their Children

.Our present home is somewhat different from the one we came from

.This is a place where we live in two diverse worlds:  A world of pain and a world of hope

We, through the women and children learn about their pain

.at the same time we try to teach them all about hope

,The hope for a different life, a life with no violence

.A life of freedom, love, mutual respect and joy


IMG-20150523-WA0001 (1)   

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Domestic Violence: When Love Becomes Hurtful

By: Rev. Arlington Pryor, M.Div. on (0 comments) ShareThis Facebook 23

The Statistics on Domestic Violence Are Shocking

Domestic violence occurs in an estimated 4 million intimate relationships each year in the United States. We are now recognizing and dealing with the urgency and severity of domestic violence in cities from coast to coast. The statistics reveal that domestic violence is one of the most important public health problems in our country and it is time that we all address this issue. Consider the following findings:

The Surgeon General of the United States reports that domestic violence causes more injury to adult women than cancers, heart attacks, or strokes.
FBI statistics point out that a woman is battered every 15-18 seconds in the United States.
More than three million children witness domestic violence, and more than four million women are battered to death by their husbands or boyfriends each year.
Approximately one third of female murder victims in the United States are killed by their husband or boyfriend.
What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, partner abuse, and battering refer to the physical, emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse, performed by one person against another. The abuser and the victim are involved in or have had an intimate or romantic relationship.

Who Are The Victims?

Domestic violence, including battering, happens in all socioeconomic levels, to urban or rural women, young or old, with child and childless, single, married, divorced – and within all religious, racial, ethnic groups, and geographic locations. Councils On Family Violence has designated domestic violence battering as an “Unreported Epidemic.” It is important to note, that women initiate and carry out physical assaults on their partners as often as men do, according to a 1993 study by Straus and Gelles. However, when it comes to serious physical abuse, women are still overwhelmingly on the receiving end.

The Impact Of Domestic Violence On Women:

More women are injured through domestic violence than by rape, muggings, and car accidents combined. Many pregnant women have been and may be victims of domestic violence abuse. Forced sex or marital rape is the leading type of sexual assault. Yet marital rape or forced sex maybe the most underreported and least legally punished crime of partner abuse because many victims are reluctant to report and file charges against the abuser, for various reasons. The Justice Department’s 1994 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) found that only about half of the women who suffered domestic violence between 1987 and 1991 reported the abuse to law enforcement authorities.

Domestic Violence and African Americans

African Americans, including African American Women suffer deadly violence from family members at rates decidedly higher than for other racial groups in the United States. However, it is observed that research concerning family violence among African Americans is inadequate.

Factors such as the breakdown of families, unemployment and underemployment, poor schools, inadequate vocational skills and training, bad housing, the influence and use of drugs, and the density of liquor stores in the inner city contribute to the problem of domestic violence. All of these ingredients may compound and coalesce into a strong undercurrent of frustration that can lead to domestic violence.

A Painful Dilemma

Many Black women may find it harder to leave a battering relationship than White women. The reasons for this are unclear, but some possible explanations include the following: (1) African American women have fewer options in their search for a marital partner than do White women; (2) African American women on average, have a lower income level than that of most White women; (3) Black women are reluctant to call the police because they see the racial injustice in the criminal justice system; (4) community support systems including women’s shelters and other service programs may be less available to them and they may view the shelter system movement as something mainly to benefit White women. Unfortunately, many Black women resort to “homicide” as an answer to the violence and battering they encounter.

What You Can Do If You (Or A Friend) Suffers Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a Federal crime. Call 911 immediately. This will activate the criminal justice system in regards to your domestic violence abuse and injurious claims. Experts say that women are beaten about five times before they ever dial 911.

Try to give police all available information and make certain that the police listen and write down your statements and their observations, and direct quotes of what your abuser said while attacking you.

Never refuse medical evaluations and medical services! Never clean up the house or location after a domestic violence attack, so that critical evidence of harm or injury is not removed. Keep a Polaroid or some type of camera and film on hand to photograph your injuries and any damage to property, etc. Remember, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and is a good sign of evidence.

Call domestic violence resource agencies in your community or call the National Domestic Violence hot line at (800) 799-SAFE (7233). This hotline was initiated in 1996 with cooperation from the Justice Department. Through this hotline, a woman anywhere in the United States can be connected to resources to help her get away from her violent abuser.
Consider Obtaining A Protective Order Against Your Abuser

A protective order can be issued by civil and criminal courts against anyone who is a threat to your safety. The 1994 Federal Violence Act against women specifies that protective orders are recognized and enforced from state to state and includes Indian Tribal Reservations. Call the various domestic violence organizations and agencies for information and advice about a protective order.

How Can We As A Community More Effectively Address This Problem?

We must all work together to fight against domestic violence. Churches, corporations, hospitals, and individuals in general must be vigilant about increasing the awareness that domestic violence is a major problem facing our communities. Churches should present sermons, workshops and provide information about domestic violence and sexual violence including rape, child incest and child molestation, and conjugal battery.

Churches should also keep a file of references of therapists who work with victims of domestic and sexual violence and of medical, law enforcement, social services, and other resources that offer help and support. The Church needs to be open and forthright about the reality of domestic and sexual violence and not be silent on these subjects.

Additionally, hospitals and health care providers must be more vigilant in screening for domestic violence. The American Medical Association (AMA) advises doctors and nurses to routinely observe and screen patients in the emergency rooms for signs of domestic violence, and report their findings to proper authorities.

Empowerment Points

Domestic and sexual violence is a vicious malady that the African American community must confront, reduce, and eliminate from our lives.

The ancient Chinese proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

You are taking the first step by being informed and aware that domestic violence is a hard reality and no laughing matter for Black women.


Hot Line

National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
African American Domestic Violence Fact Sheet

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, University of Minnesota, “Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the African American Community Fact Sheet”
Web Sites:

U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against

American Bar Association, Commission on Domestic

Marian Betancourt, “What To Do When Love Turns Violent”, New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1997

Maria Hong, “Family Abuse, A National Epidemic”, Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1997

Cynthia L. Mather, “How Long Does It Hurt?” San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1994

Susan Murphy-Milano, “Defending Our Lives”, New York: An Anchor Book, published by Doubleday, 1996

A.E. Sadler, book editor, “Family Violence”, San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1996

Jan Berliner-Statman, “The Battered Woman’s Survival Guide”, Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1995

Karin L. Swisher, book editor, “Domestic Violence”, San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1996