Ayesha Abadi, who was murdered on Sunday in Jadeidi-Makr, is the twenty-first woman murdered in Israel on the basis of gender since the beginning of 2021, according to data from the Her Memorial Project. This number is close to that of 2020, in which a total of 26 women were murdered.

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In honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Center for Assistance for Victims of Sexual Assault held a march against violence in Tel Aviv. This year, the rally is on the theme of “female solidarity.”

“This year, we have chosen to put the spotlight on the female solidarity, which we have witnessed more and more in recent years,” they said in statement. “Thanks to these women, we are witnessing a real revolution when it comes to discourse around violence against women. Thanks to these women who say: we believe you, we will fight together.”

While a significant budget has been allotted and now passed by the new government to address this issue, it has yet to put into action.

A protest against violence against women. (Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash90).

Ministry of Welfare reports rise in domestic violence, particularly against women

According to data from the Ministry of Welfare, from January to October 2021, 7,977 inquiries were received regarding domestic violence at the 118 Hotline operated by the Ministry of Welfare, which is a 10% increase in reports compared to the same period in 2020. Of the total reports, 4,382 reported on violence against a woman in a relationship, 295 on violence against a man in a relationship, and 1,649 on violence against children within the family. In 2020, a special hotline was established for reports by violent men and complaints of men who themselves had been victims of violence, which was used by 24 men.

The Ministry of Welfare stated that in 2021, an additional budget was received for the inter-ministerial program for the treatment of domestic violence, and it increased from 60 million shekels ($18.8 million) in 2020 to 105 million shekels ($32.9 million) in 2021 and 155 million shekels ($48.6 million) in 2022. The program, first approved in 2017, includes assistance to women who are victims of domestic violence, responses to violent men and prevention programs. It was based on the recommendations of the Executive Committee for the Reduction and Treatment of Domestic Violence.

According to the report from the Citizens’ Empowerment Center in Israel, the Ministry of Social Affairs estimated the cost of the program at 50 million shekels ($15.7 million) a year for five years, but the decision did not include a budget source. As a result, the budget required for the plan was not transferred and the ministry had to prioritize specific issues that were part of the decision, within constraints of the existing budget. Consequently, the ministry was unable to implement a significant portion of the plan.

Only following a series of murders and mass demonstrations, a new committee was set up that promoted another government decision approved in January 2019, to advance many actions from the original committee with a precise budget estimated approximately at 50 million shekels ($15.7 million).

The designated budget was allocated to the Ministry of Welfare by the Ministry of Finance, along with a budget supplement that was taken from budget cuts from other ministries, amounting to 20 million shekels ($6.28 million).

Another move aiming to improve the treatment of domestic violence is a reform agreed upon by the Histadrut, the Union of Social Workers, and the Ministry of Finance on the wages of social workers. According to the new framework, the base salary of social workers will increase to 8,000 shekel per month ($2,500), and they will receive salary additions on the basis seniority and education, so that the salary of a veteran field social worker will be about 15,000 shekel per month ($4,700).

21 Women Murdered

Here are the names of the women murdered in 2021, according to the Her Memorial Project:

4.1.2021 Latricia Lanee Pointer, murdered at 53 years old in the southern town of Yeruham. Strangled by her husband. She is survived by her four children.

5.2.2021 Diana Deadbiev z”l, murdered at 35 years old in the West Bank settlement of Na’ale. She was shot to death by her husband, a policeman, with her four children present.

16.2.2021 An anonymous woman z”l, murdered at 40 years old. She was found lifeless in the trunk of a burning car. Police forces were called by the woman’s partner.

18.2.2021 Shula Sharabi z”l, murdered at 76 years old. According to allegations, she was stabbed by her son.

21.3.2021 An anonymous woman z”l, murdered at about 30 years old, was found lifeless in a rented room in Jaffa. The police arrested two men on the scene, a 70-year-old man and a 30-year-old man, the latter the woman’s spouse.

1.5.2021 Svetlana Belkin z”l, murdered at 52 years old in Haifa. According to allegations, she was murdered by her son and her husband, who were arrested and released on parole.

11.5.2021 Ronit Habish z”l, murdered at 42 years old in northern Druze village of Yarka. She was allegedly beaten to death by her brother.

27.5.2021 Jumana Casey z”l, murdered at 35 years old in Eilat. She was allegedly murdered by her brother by strangulation with rope while her one-year-old son was in the next room.

2.6.2021 An anonymous woman z”l, murdered at 69 years old in the central town of Kfar Yona. She was shot dead by her husband, who afterwards killed himself.

30.6.2021 Meisar Othman z”l, murdered at 27 years old in Haifa. She was shot dead in front of some of her children.

5.8.2021 Rasha Mukalsha z”l, murdered at 46 years old. According to the allegations, she was murdered by her two sons who buried her body in the Jordan River area.

8.8.2021 Rasha Hive z”l, murdered at 46 years old in Nof HaGalil in northern Israel. She was found lifeless after more than a day of searches in the Jordan River area. Her three sons and a relative were arrested on suspicion of murder, and a gag order was imposed on the details of the investigation.

19.8.2021 An anonymous woman z”l, murdered at 53 years old in Sderot. She was stabbed to death by her son who confessed to the act.

20.8.2021 Lorin Tafal z”l, murdered at 28 years old. Shot dead after being threatened by family members of her murdered husband several years ago.

9.9.2021 Reem Ibrahim z”l, murdered at 28 years old, from the northern Druze town of Sajur. She was found lifeless in a vehicle that caught fire.

20.9.2021 Rachel Eisenstadt z”l, was found dead in her apartment in Ma’ale Adumim. Her husband fled the scene, broke through a police checkpoint and was critically wounded when he shot himself in front of the officers.

22.9.2021 An anonymous woman z”l, murdered at 18 years old. Killed in a fall from the second floor of her home in the northern town of Kafr Yasif. The police detained her brother for questioning.

9.25.2021 Somaya al-Talalka z”l, murdered at 42 years old. She was allegedly murdered in a shooting in Bedouin town of Lakiya in the Negev by her family.

2.10.2021 Lital Yael Melnik z”l, murdered at 17 years old, from Or Akiva. She was found emerging from a shallow grave at a site in Kiryat Motzkin, north of Haifa. The suspect is a nurse in a psychiatric hospital where she was previously hospitalized and a restraining order was previously issued against him by her grandmother.

22.10.2021 Tamar Stern z”l, was 50 years old when she was murdered in Beit Shemesh. Her 27-year-old son was arrested and confessed to the act.

21.11.2021 Ayesha Abadi z”l, from Jadeidi-Makr, was found dead in her apartment with stab wounds. Her husband escaped and was arrested on suspicion of the act.