Fighting violence against women

A letter to the late Carmela Nakash

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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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