Israeli Family-Law Forum - Violence

Below are selected readers' questions on 'Violence' ,that we have chosen to answer. Further and more detailed information can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel , at: http://www.family-laws.co.il/violence-scope http://www.family-laws.co.il/violence-people-covered http://www.family-laws.co.il/violence-protection-available http://www.family-laws.co.il/violence-false-complaints

Yes, if you can prove the grounds necessary for getting an order under the relevant legislation. You do not have to have Israeli citizenship or be married to the father of your child to be entitled to protection for yoursef and your child, and it does not matter if only he is listed on the rental contract.  

The police are referring to a protection order under the 1991 Prevention of Violence in the Family Act. Such an application, for a tailor-made order, is normally made at the family court, which is a specialist magistrates court. In principle,  religious courts (e.g. rabbinical court or Sha'ari court ) can also grant protection orders  and so can the ordinary civil magistrates courts but they may not have jurisdiction to do so in the specific case or may not be the most appropriate forum .    
Yes, it is possible for a former partner to get an ex-parte protection order at the family court without the alleged offending party even knowing about it, if the judge is satisfied that the necessary conditions are met under the 1991 Prevention of Violence Within the Family Act . Courts tend to err on the side of caution if a prima facie case for an initial protection order is made, especially if children are involved and can grant a temporary order until both sides appear in court for hearing . If your ex-partner did manage to get such an order "behind your back" you would be served with it by the police ,a hearing will be set, by law, as soon as possible within 7 days, which both parties must attend. You would have your opportunity to put your case at the hearing and can even file a written response beforehand.
Yes- but only after there is clear evidence that the parent applying for the protection order and suspension of unsupervised contact was lying and acting in bad faith. For example, in a rare case, the February 2016 Nazareth Family Court ordered a divorced mother of a 4 year old girl ,to pay the father (her ex-husband) 15,000 NIS compensation after polygraph testing (to which they had both consented ) showed most clearly that she had made false claims of child abuse, while he had been telling the truth. There was a history of bad faith and manipulative behaviour on the part of the mother, in legal proceedings against the father, and she had tried to cover up results of additional testing ordered, which proved unfavourable to her, it was stated in the judgment.
Yes. Israeli law protects emotional abuse as well as physical abuse in the family, if it is substantial or extreme, and ongoing, as opposed to an isolated incident. Protection orders to prevent violence within the family can be tailor-made and can deal with verbal violence and not just physical abuse, as is often thought.

The mother can file for temporary and permanent orders to prevent the baby’s biological father from coming close to her and the child, and also request that visitation only take place under supervision, within the framework of these legal proceedings, or within a custody and/or visitation plea filed by her, or as part of her defence in contact proceedings that he may file against her.

She will need to describe the father’s relevant background and the danger he presents, being a drug addict. The court will most probably refer the parties to the court assistance unit, initially, and /or order a welfare officer’s report, with recommendations, together with granting a temporary order against the father.

Yes! His girlfriend can bring civil proceedings against him, and apply to court for a protection order, while the police can start criminal proceedings against him, for assault, if she complains to them.

No! The court acts cautiously where there are serious claims of sexual harrassment or molestation against a minor,giving "first aid",before checking out the authenticity of allegations. At the emergency measure stage, the child's right to protection  takes precedence over the father's visitation rights.Afterwards, the father is given the opportunity to defend himself. In 1998 the Supreme Court noted that claims of sexual harrassment or abuse can be used by one person to harm another for other motives,and family courts are aware of this.

You can point out, as Jerusalem  District Court stressed in 2004,that the 1991 Prevention of Violence within the Family Act requires a close connection between the alleged violent act and the request for an order to keep the alleged violent person away.If the alleged violent act takes place shortly before the application for a protection order is filed, then the court can deal with the case.If, however,a "substantial amount of time" has elapsed since the alleged violent event, as appears to be so from your description, the court will lack jurisdiction to deal with it under the act.If this were otherwise, then "anybody could keep an intimidating event in the past inside him, and use it against his enemy much later on", Judge Drori said in Leave of Civil Appeal 179/04. 

Yes, you can apply for a protection order either makes him deposit the weapon with his employer, at the end of each working day.
Yes, an action for civil damages can be filed by a child against an abusive father at the family court, but its chances of success will depend largely upon proving the abuse, the damage suffered , and the causative connection between the two.
You can apply to the family court for a tailor-made order preventing her from entering the family home, or coming within the vicinity of it, and/or from harrassing you anywhere and in any way.
Yes, and it can be granted, if she persuades the court about his violence, or the substantial risk of it, under the 1991 Prevention of Violence in the Family Act. She , must take care not to phrase her application in terminology more applicable to rabbinical court proceedings such as a plea for 'peaceful accommodation.'
She can get a protection order based on alleged violence, or substantial risk of violence, if she files for it close to the time of her return.
Yes ! An order can be given that will protect him by forbidding her to harass him anywhere and in any way.

Yes, but the physical violence must be substantial, and not a one-off event.

By applying for a protection order at the family court, under the 1991 Prevention of Violence Within the Family Act

By arranging for a third party, such as one of your relatives, to collect and return your children from the family home. You can see them this way – outside the family home – and without breaching the order.

Yes, the law protecting family members applies to former couples, too, whether they were married or unmarried.

Yes! A woman is entitled to protection from her husband whether she lives with him or not- and even after they divorce, under the Prevention of Violence Within the Family Act of 1991.

Yes, a woman can get an order to protect her from verbal and emotional violence by her husband or common-law partner, if the abuse is substantial and was not an isolated incident. Usually evidence in the form of recordings or witnesses is required.

Yes! The Prevention of Violence Within the Family Act of 1991 allows one family member to seek a protection order for another. You will need to give a detailed affidavit concerning his violence and attach any supporting documentation such as complaints to the police, or to her doctor, or medical reports from the hospital casualty department.

You cannot take her right to file further complaints against you, even if they are false or unjustified, but you can take an advantage of a mechanism in the 1991 Prevention of Violence Within the Family Act allowing you to seek financial compensation from her...

No ! Once a woman files a complaint for domestic violence with the police, it is no longer in her hands, even if she approaches them again and withdraws it, after reconciling with her wife. Once the process is started, the decision about whether to prosecute is not in her control, and the State Attorney and the police together decide whether to prosecute, on the basis of the severity of the alleged offence. A judge has discretion to prosecute, even against the wife's wishes.