A new act in England will recognize the refusal of a get, a Jewish divorce, as a form of domestic abuse.
A get is given by the husband to the wife. Some husbands purposely hold back from giving a get, so they are unable to marry again.
The act was backed by the chief executive of Jewish Women’s Aid Naomi Dickson and states that “the ability to refuse to give a get provides abusive husbands with power and control and will be used often to exert leverage in relation to other aspects of divorce.”
“We have worked with many women for whom get refusal has been weaponized by their perpetrator,” she said. “It has become another tool of abuse, used to punish the woman and to hold them to a marriage which is dead, preventing them (and sometimes their children) from moving on with their lives,” she said.
The new act seeks to deter get refusal and lower the number of get refusers in the UK.A few women who were refused a get in the past sued their ex-husbands for controlling and coercive behavior, but the new act will allow the Crown Prosecution Service to initiate legal action.