Abused wife is de­nied get

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

A DI­VORCE case be­ing heard at the Jerusalem Beth Din has caused fury fol­low­ing a rul­ing that, de­spite be­ing re­peat­edly beaten by her hus­band, a wife is not el­i­gi­ble to de­mand a get.

Dayanim ruled the hus­band’s con­duct was “due to the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion he is in fol­low­ing his wife’s di­vorce suit against him”.

The rul­ing was given two weeks ago in the on­go­ing case of a Jerusalem cou­ple. The wife ini­tially sued for di­vorce last July, but was turned down by the court.

Fol­low­ing the first hear­ing, the hus­band at­tacked her and re­ceived a cus­to­dial sen­tence. She ap­pealed to the High Rab­bini­cal Court, which re­turned the case to the Jerusalem Beth Din for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion.

Two new charges of mar­i­tal vi­o­lence were served against the hus­band. But al­though the Beth Din ruled that “any as­sault of a man’s wife is un­jus­ti­fied in any case, and should be dealt with se­verely,” it added: “With­out a doubt the hus­band’s out­burst was due to the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion he is in fol­low­ing his wife’s di­vorce suit against him.

“There is no doubt that had the wife agreed to her hus­band’s re­quest to try and re­turn to nor­mal life, the event would not have hap­pened.”

Batya Ka­hana-Dror, chief ex­ec­u­tive of a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion which sup­ports women de­nied a get, rep­re­sented the wife in the case.

She com­plained to Israel’s At­tor­ney Gen­eral say­ing the Beth Din had “given le­git­i­macy to men to beat their wives and use se­vere vi­o­lence against them if they try to ini­ti­ate di­vorce pro­ceed­ings against their will”.

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