top of page

Women's Spirit - Emergency!

Women's Spirit, a non-profit that supports women survivors of abuse to develop economic independence and break the cycle of violence, finds itself these days in a difficult and complex situation. Like all of us, we are struck and hurt by the unimaginable sights from the communities surrounding Gaza and the south.

At the same time, we witness a sharp escalation in domestic abuse, sadly, a known and common result of national severe traumas.

Women’s Spirit works nationwide which includes a branch in the south that has participants from Be'er Sheva, the Western Negev and the settlements near the Gaza Strip.  Since the beginning of the war the Case Managers in our southern branch are overwhelmed with the number of new requests for our services as well as the growing needs from our participants, women survivors of abuse, many of them living in the communities that were infiltrated by terrorists.

During this period of crisis, our professional staff are working night and day in order to support the participants.  Women’s Spirit must be there for them, in order for them not to fall back into the cycle of abuse.

עותק של ללא כותרת (2).png

Our individual work

WhatsApp Image 2023-10-14 at 20.49.11.jpeg

During this crisis, the professional staff of Women’s Spirit are working overtime to respond to hundreds of our participants, in full collaboration with other aid organizations, professionals and officials in the community. Our presence and support are more important than ever, especially in light of the unimaginable burden that falls on the shoulders of the municipalities. These municipalities, even on normal days, fail to provide a satisfactory response for women survivors of abuse.

We work in complete synchronization with the business sector, local municipalities and any and all relevant professionals in the field - with the aim of creating a supportive environment for our participants.

We operate a well-oiled model of volunteering within each community.  Each women survivor of abuse has her own personalized “plan of action”, allowing to their needs. Each trained professional volunteer is from their same community. Our model produces resilience, cohesion and comfort, these are the components that are needed today more than ever. Our Case Managers and dozens of trained professional volunteers in the south are busy maintaining continuous and supportive contact with their participants most of whom are single mothers, who are currently experiencing great emotional and material distress.

 They are in shock, and many relive their personal trauma. During this period of uncertainty and financial insecurity, the chance that women survivors of abuse will return to an abusive relationship from which they fled is higher than ever. They will once again be trapped in the endless cycle of violence, a terrible fate for them and their children.

עותק של ללא כותרת (1200 x 1200 פיקסל).png

Preparing for "the day after"

Women’s Spirit is already preparing for "the day after": our experience teaches us that every period of stress is accompanied by a sharp increase in domestic abuse, following the prolonged and forced stay at home, the return of post-traumatic spouses from war, financial distress, emotional burden, and burnout following the cancellation of the children's educational frameworks and more. This is a pressure cooker that is overflowing and manifested in severe violent outbursts.

We know that the number of women that will turn to us will climb drastically during the coming weeks.

Policy & Legislation for Women Survivors of Abuse:

Beside our individual work, our Policy and Legislation Department works in tight cooperation with other women’s and human rights organizations, in both the national and international arenas, focused on gender issues under the war and its implications.

Together we have called upon the United Nations and leading organizations around the world to condemn the terrible massacre, shocking violence and war crimes of Hamas and to work for the release of the hostages. Among other things, we participated in an important meeting of representatives of women's organizations and the families of the abductees with the CEDAW Committee. The meeting focused on the situation of women in Israel during the war.


We called on the Israeli government not to forget about the civilians, to include women in decision-making and in negotiations for the release of the hostages. Women's Spirit will continue to be active in demanding gender equality, the protection of women from violence and the attendance to the special needs of women during the war.

Our message is clear:

  1. We anticipate that the consequences of the current situation on women survivors of abuse and their children will be felt long after the end of the war and the state must prepare for the consequences.

  2. We call on the Israeli government not to forget about the civilians, to include women in decision-making and in negotiations for the release of the hostages.

  3. Women's Spirit will continue to be active in demanding gender equality, the protection of women from violence and the attendance to the special needs of women during and after the war.

  4. We stress that women survivors of abuse with complexed PTSD, experience a great emotional distress following the October 7th events, and note a dramatic increase in their post-traumatic symptoms

  5. We express a concern that in an atmosphere of a national security crisis, women may get the message that now is not the right time to speak about their difficulties at home. This kind of silencing may lead to less awareness of warning signs of abuse and of risk situations – by the woman herself and by the people around her. Therefore, cases of abuse may not be identified and treated. 

  6. Following the experience of past emergency and stressful situations, we expect an increase in cases of domestic abuse. We are especially concerned about women who were forced to leave their homes due to the war. These women are moving between temporary homes and deal with much uncertainty and with economic pressures. Therefore, they are at heightened risk of being abused. 

  7. The economic implications of the war will first of all struck women in general (like during Covid-19 when women were the first to be "released" from their jobs in order to take care of their children), and especially women survivors of abuse, who may be among the first employees to be fired or to be sent on leave when workplaces have to reduce their activities. This raises the risk that they may be forced to return to abusive partners. 

  8. We demand the government to take active steps to prevent domestic violence during the war, to make sure that there are enough shelters and safe houses for women, to raise awareness of warning signs of gender-based violence, and to provide treatment for abusive men.

  9. We are convinced that the emotional and economic implications of the war, as well as the potential for more violence at home, will last for a long period after the war ends. The government must respond now to these challenges.

Examples of our work:

  • Participating in a forum of women's rights organizations, focusing on joint initiatives and activities during the war.

  •  Participating in a round-table held by the Ministry for the Advancement of Women, with women's organizations - a discussion of women's needs during the war.

  •  Joint letter of women's organizations to the government, demanding the establishment of a special forum that deals with civilian needs during the war.

  •  Joint letter of civil society organizations to the Minister of Finance, calling for the protection of workers and workers' rights during the war. (Our experience is that women are the first employees to be hurt, including losing their jobs, during times of national crisis and emergency). 

  •  Joint a letter of women's organizations to the government official in charge of the issue of kidnapped and missing people, demanding the appropriate representation of women in any team and committee dealing with this issue, including negotiation team.

  •  Joining an urgent call for the release of hostages held by the Hamas and Jihad and for the protection of  special humanitarian rights of women and children. The urgent call was sent to various international bodies, and was signed by Israeli women's organizations.

  •  Joint  written response of women's rights and victims' organizations to UN Women's statement of October 13th 2023, regarding the events of October 7th. (A statement which ignored the horrific situation of the hostages and the brutal attack of the Hamas against Israeli citizens, including sexual assault of women and other war crimes).

  •  Joining an urgent call for action by international law and human rights experts, regarding crimes against humanity and war crimes against women and children during Hamas atrocities in Israel.

  • Women's Spirit will continue to be active in demanding gender equality, the protection of women from violence and the attendance to the special needs of women during and after the war.

bottom of page