More than 100 people attended the silent march in Tel Aviv
Black coffins decorated with red roses are seen during a mock funeral attended by dozens of Israeli women to raise awareness over the growing number of women being killed in incidents of domestic violence across Israel in Tel Aviv. © Jack Guez - AFP
More than 100 people attended the silent march in Tel Aviv
AFP
Last updated: November 24, 2011

Israelis hold coffin march over domestic violence

Women's rights activists on Thursday marched through Tel Aviv carrying black coffins to raise awareness about domestic violence in Israel, which so far this year has claimed 24 women's lives.

More than 100 people attended the silent march, with participants carrying life-sized black coffins each adorned with a single red rose in a demonstration to mark the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women this Friday.

Figures compiled by the Women's International Zionist Organisation (WIZO), which organised the march, showed a 20 percent rise in the number of women killed by family members in Israel.

The study showed 24 victims in 2011 compared with 20 a year earlier. In 2009, the figure was 15.

"Every seventh woman (in Israel) has been beaten, at least once in her life, by her partner," the study said, adding that every year, around 200,000 women are abused by their partners, in acts of violence which are witnessed by some 600,000 children.

Opposition leader and Kadima head Tzipi Livni and several other female MPs joined the protesters as they gathered for a rally at the end of the march.

This year, WIZO has launched a national campaign entitled "Save Your Souls" which focuses on the dangers of emotional violence and encourages women to seek professional help, organisers said.

Gila Oshrat, chair of WIZO Israel, said the scope of domestic violence went far beyond the physical harm inflicted on women and their children.

"Emotional violence has no physical signs and is therefore hard to recognise and difficult to treat," she said in a statement.

"It is a destructive violence, subjugating the woman and sometimes endangering her life and the lives of her children.

"We all have to understand that violence against women is not the problem of women in society. It is the problem of society."

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