A group of first-year medical students from The Tel Aviv University Medical School visited the Herzlia shelter to learn firsthand about domestic violence and the shelters for battered women in Israel. The visit was part of the ongoing cooperation between the Medical School and our shelters.
The students got an overview of the topic and met women residents of the shelter. The women opened up to them and told their life stories, describing living in a violent home, its impact on their self-image and their children. The women explained how they took the fateful decision to flee to a safe place and begin their lives anew. One of the students explained that the reason he decided to visit the shelter was connected to a difficult childhood experience. His aunt was the victim of terrible domestic violence and her husband didn’t allow anyone to help her. The student described how his aunt always said she was fine, even when her husband beat her and her children, brutally injuring them with life-threatening injuries. His mother tried to convince her to leave, but had no luck. As a child, he understood something was very wrong, but he was helpless in the face of it.
Another student interrupted a shelter resident who said, “When you’re in the violence, you don’t leave because you are such a failure and feel so unworthy…” by saying, “You are the bravest woman in the world. All of the women here are true heroes.”