Bat Melech

Bat Melech is the only shelter for religious victims of domestic violence in Israel. Bat Melech is Israel’s most comprehensive network of social services for victims of abuse and operates shelters for Jewish women and children who are forced to leave their homes to escape abusive situations

Location: Jerusalem , N/A
Year founded: 1995


Any woman suffering from domestic abuse must contend with enormous difficulties in escaping an ‎abusive relationship. These difficulties are even more daunting for observant and religious women. Fear of the stigma associated generally with welfare services in ‎the religious community and distrust of non-religious authorities make their situation even more difficult. Many Orthodox women fear that ‎admitting openly that their husbands beat them will negatively impact the religious community’s ‎perception of their families. Until Bat Melech was established, abused religious women had nowhere to turn to for help. Bat Melech is the only organization in Israel to respond to this urgent need by providing ‎shelters for abused religious and observant women. Today, Bat Melech runs a network of shelters and safe havens that provide social, financial, emotional, and legal assistance to woman and their children, who are victims of domestic violence. Bat Melech provides food, shelter, childcare, therapeutic counseling, legal services and transitional aid to women and children who flee from dangerous home situations. Bat Melech operates two shelters, one in central Israel and one in Jerusalem, and provides services to over 1,500 women each year. Bat Melech not only provides a safe haven for these women and children, but also serves as a crucial stopgap, breaking the cycle of intergenerational violence. Though there are fourteen shelters in Israel, only two of these shelters (founded and operated by Bat Melech) serve the religious community and provide crucial services to this population.

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