It is largely agreed upon that the issue of violence is cause for concern not only because of how widespread it has become, but also because of its lasting negative effects on the growth of society and the long-term psychological effects, in addition to promoting negative imitation patterns inside the society itself.
Indeed what is really worrying is the steep increase in violence in Palestinian society in Israel, which has become noticeable in recent years and poses a real threat to national safety, as well as a danger to the delicate social fabric and opportunities for growth. The abscence of research and surveys on this issue makes understanding this reality and dealing with this phenomenon difficult. There is no in-depth research that can shed a light on the root causes of this phenomenon with scientific and objective accuracy.
The Galilee Society would like to present a number of preliminary findings which they collected about societal violence and its causes from its 2014 research Violence and Family Relations in the Palestinian Community in Israel, as a preface to an in depth research which we plan to do in the coming year about societal violence. This with the aim of understanding what is happening in society today, and to find possible solutions to eliminate this phenomenon from Palestinian society in Israel, as has been done in other countries around the world.
The preliminary data we have on societal violence and specifically its causes is as follows:
Mental Exhaustion- Palestinian Families Under Stress
Around 47.4% of all Palestinian families suffer from low stress levels, while 2.7% suffer from high or extremely high stress levels. This percentage rises after 5 years of marriage and stays high up until 30 years of marriage.
The percentage of families suffering from high or extremely high mental exhaustion in the first five years of marriage was at 1.7%. After ten years of marriage, the percentage goes up to 4.3%, then goes down to 3.8% after twenty years.
High or extremely high mental exhaustion goes down as the level of education goes higher. While the highest percentage of families suffering from high or extremely high mental exhaustion are families with medium incomes.
Violence Against Women
The percentage of violence against women, on all its forms, is higher in the Northern region where the percentage of women who were exposed to violence reached 36%, compared to 22.2% in the Haifa area, 23% in the Center, and 26.1% in the South.
48.7% of all individuals have been witness to violence throughout their life, which amounts to 38.1% of all females and 60.5% of all males. The most witnessed acts of violence include chases, followed by beatings, and finally shootings. 73.8% of young males and females in the Center witnessed violence over their lifetime, compared to 58.3% in the South, and 47.4% in the North, and 22.7% in the Haifa area.
The percentage of individuals who were exposed to less severe violence stood at 15.6%, while those exposed the percentage of individuals exposed to more severe forms of violence stood at 8.5%. On the other hand, the percentage of individuals who were exposed to mental violence reached 20.8%, and the percentage exposed to sexual violence reached 7.3%.
Causes of Community Violence
A high percentage of married or previously married women agree that substance abuse is the most common reason for community violence, 92.3% agree that economic hardship or unemployment are the reason, 93.45 blame lack of social tolerance, and 94.5% lack of religious deterrents.