May 13, 2020

Gickman Centre Update with Yael Levin

Na’amat Canada Zoom Meeting With Shirli Shavit and Yael Levin on Monday May 11, 2020

Zoom with Shirli and Yael 05112020

A recent Ethopian immigrant came to the shelter at the Na’amat Canada Glickman Centre for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. She fled there with her 3 children, the youngest only 3 months old, fearing that she would be murdered just as her sister-in-law had been. Her life was “hell”; her husband was physically and emotionally abusive. She left with nothing. She was too afraid to file a complaint with the police.

Like the 5 or 6 other women and their children who came to the Glickman Centre during the COVID-19 lock down, she feared for her life. In the early days she stayed in isolation with her children for two weeks before she was able to occupy one of the 12 rooms set aside for families escaping abuse.

According to Yael Levin, Director of the Na’amat Canada Glickman Centre shelter, COVID-19 is a crisis on top of another crisis. Illness, unemployment, and uncertainty cause anxiety affecting the severity of domestic violence. Families are together 24/7. Many women did not have a chance to call helplines in the beginning of the lock down period. As time went on, calls and referrals increased. Because of the pandemic and the lock down, there is a new crisis facing the shelters, the women and children living there and the staff. Because some of the staff did not come to work, new staff was hired to help all the women in their day-to-day living. 

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Levin predicts that domestic abuse will get worse once life gets back to “normal.”  There will be a great aftershock because unemployment, poverty, desperation, anxiety and the breakdown of families all falls on women. When asked what does Glickman need for the future, Levin said, “It depends on the demand. We will be looking at the vocational side of the problem. Women will need to leave the shelter to work and find apartments but jobs will be scarce especially for women.”

A major change has occurred in the ambulatory or outpatient wing of the Glickman Centre. Tel Aviv Foundation has withdrawn its funding. As a result, Na’amat will expand its ambulatory programs and services which will be open to women and families across the country to include additional psychotherapy, group therapy, parental guidance, and legal advice to mention a few. There will be a minimum cost to participants in order to defray expenses.

What makes Glickman unique?

  • one of the first shelters in Israel
  • integration between therapeutic and legal counseling
  • high level of professionalism
  • Na’amat’s good name in Israeli society