Thursday, November 25, 2021 5:50 PM
"Violence has many layers, indicated not only by black and blue marks," says domestic violence survivor Liron Dror.
In honor of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, KKL-JNF and other national institutions pledge to mobilize their workplaces against family violence, and to assist women victimized by it.
On Tuesday, November 23rd, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with a special ceremony entitled Netu’ot B’Lev
– ‘Planted in our Hearts’.
The ceremony, which took place in the Mevo Modi'im section of Ben Shemen Forest
, was facilitated by the KKL-JNF National Workers Union; the NA’AMAT Movement for Working Women and Volunteers; WIZO – Women’s International Zionist Organization; the religious EMUNAH organization for advancing women and families; and the Histadrut – Israel’s General Federation of Labor.
Testimony was given by Liron Dror
, who, together with her toddler daughter, narrowly escaped being murdered by her ex-husband Barak Ben Ami, while their infant daughter, Goni, did not:
"On March 6, , my babies and I were murdered by Barak Ben Ami, the father of my children and my husband at the time. The doctors saved my life and my [toddler] daughter's life, but they couldn't save my baby Goni. Goni was murdered when she was only 10 months old by someone who she had called Abba, daddy. I call him a monster.
"I call upon all the authorities responsible: Stop this cruel cycle of violence! It is intolerable that the victims have less rights than their murderers. I know from my own body that the suffering continues, even after the murderer is locked away behind bars. Help women like myself protect themselves and their babies. Violence has many layers, indicated not only by black and blue marks. The road is still long and a great deal of work still awaits us."
During the ceremony, KKL-JNF dedicated trees in the name of each woman murdered by family members since Israel’s establishment. In dedicating the trees - young saplings planted just before the Shmita year
- KKL-JNF World Chairman Avraham Duvdevani
"This situation is intolerable, not only from a personal perspective, but also nationally. We chose to plant a tree for each and every one of the victims - because a human being is like a tree of the field, because each and every one of them left our world in such a tragic way while they were in the midst of a process of establishing their roots, of gaining momentum, in a time when they were rising to the very treetops of their lives. This is the worst type of violence imaginable, the most unjust, the most criminal. We must put an end to this!"
Recognizing the centrality of the workplace in employees’ lives, and its vulnerability to the spill-over effects of family violence – namely through injuries sustained by employees, loss of productivity, deducted work days, and more – the participating organizations pledged to mobilize the large employment networks at their disposal to combat the phenomenon, and to offer assistance to female employees suffering its effects.
One by one, the organizations signed a covenant to undertake a series of steps in their respective workplaces, including:
Raising awareness among employees about the prevalence of family violence, the various forms it can take, and where they can turn to for help;
Bringing in experts and NGOs to lecture on various topics surrounding domestic violence, including how to recognize the early warning signs, the resources and tools that can help, and more;
Forging connections with the wider community, local authorities and civil society organizations in order to assist workers in distress and direct them to the appropriate address for help;
Allowing victimized employees to get the help they need and deal with their affairs also during office hours, without it negatively effecting (insofar as possible) their wages or job security;
Holding a roundtable between the undersigned to discuss further avenues for helping employees and eliminating family violence from the community.
The ceremony concluded with the lighting of red beams that illuminated the forest - a powerful reminder of all those female lives so brutally snuffed out.