|The WIZO Phone Line for Violent Men, operated by WIZO, gives assistance to hundreds of callers: During its first five months hundreds called in asking for assistance in renouncing the Cycle of Violence
Whilst violence within the family is growing and within the framework of WIZO’s activities for the prevention and treatment of violence in the family, five months ago WIZO began to operate an advisory phone line to assist men who find themselves in the cycle of violence. It is a unique service, the first of its kind, probably in the world, which provides telephone advice to men who are violence, and is a temporary, and accessible way for them to receive direction and advice on how to cope with the problem of violence. The line is operated by the WIZO Jerusalem Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Violence in the Family, and deals with all types of violence: emotional, physical, verbal, economic and sexual.
Bruchy Borstein: The Director of the Phone Line says that the purpose of the line is to help men break through their isolation, which is a catalyst for violence behavior and to give preliminary advice to those in a state of confusion and distress, to encourage them to ask for treatment without fear of exposure and without feeling that they have to join any sort of framework. To be an accessible and easy contact for the family members and friends of the violent male, and to enable youth who are beginning to form connections with the opposite sex, and finding difficulty in controlling their anger which is damaging their relationship, so that they can receive guidance and direction.
The advisory phone line began as a pilot project since August 2012, and has formally operated since December. Up to now over 400 approaches have been made from men, most of whos were referred to continue treatment.
WIZO points out that the fact that violent men can ask for advice is new and even revolutionary. Up until now the women’s organizations, and even government offices only worked with women who are victims of violence, but WIZO believes that by approaching women only there will be no real change in the phenomenon of violence, and only by raising awareness amongst men, and suggesting help to the violent amongst them, will lead to a substantial reduction in violence.
By voicing his anger in words the situation improves, he is understood, he is listened to and he is advised of the best way in which to deal with situation. We give them the motivation to get treatment, he receives empathy, on the one hand, yet absolutely no tolerance for violence.
Gila Oshrat, Chairperson of WIZO Israel summarizes: ‘for the first time we are approaching violent men, instead of the women who are the victims and saying to them “Violence is not inborn, take responsibility, stop the suffering that you are causing to yourselves and your loved ones. You can reject the cycle of violence! WIZO offers a unique solution, which is safe and aims to solve the problems in your lives without judging anyone. We call upon the men to join us in the struggle against violence and to see themselves as an integral part of the population which believes in cooperation and equal rights – and is working towards change’.