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Woman Who Was Stabbed By Husband 20 Times In Front Of Her Toddler Now Fights Laws That Protect Abusers

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Woman Who Was Stabbed By Husband 20 Times In Front Of Her Toddler Now Fights Laws That Protect Abusers

Shira Isakov is turning her terrifying story of abuse into a triumph by using her experience to fight laws in Israel. 

Her husband, Aviad Moshe attacked her in September, 2020 by bashing her over the head with a rolling pin and then repeatedly stabbing her while their toddler son watched. Isakov was on the phone with her parents at the time and they could hear the whole encounter. 

A neighbor, Adi Guzi was able to bang on the door and interrupt the attack. 

After Isakov arrived at the nearest hospital doctors gave her a 20 percent chance of making it through the night. 

After six days in intensive care Isakov made the decision to go public with her story. 

Now, Shira Isakov works to fight laws that protect abusers. 

Her efforts began when, with permission, her brother published photos he had taken of her in the hospital bed with her injuries. 

“I told him ‘I’m not embarrassed, that’s what happened to me, that’s what I look like,’” Isakov told The New York Times “The shame is on him.” 

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Although the images were blurred at first, Isakov later insisted on being identified after she was told her ex-husband requested the courts to bar publication of his name. 

Since then she has continued to be outspoken about how the legal landscape in Israel often puts abusers before the victims. 

Her first legal victory came when the court convicted Moshe of child abuse, a judicial precendent even though the child was not physically hurt. 

But Isakov soon realized survivor of partner abuse face ongoing battles with their abusers.

The next hurdle Isakov faced was when she was told she needed the ex-husband’s signature for her son Leon to seek therapy and be placed in a new kindergarten. 

Isakov turned to a member of parliament, who had visited her while in hospital, for help.

Within months, the government amended a law in order to automatically cancel the legal guardianship rights of parent charged with the murder or attemped murder of the other parent. 

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Isakov is now working on an amendment which would allow her to legally change Leon’s last name to Isakov without having to go to court with Moshe. 

Ms. Isakov’s openness has been “very effective in decreasing the rate of severe domestic violence and in the end, preventing the next femicide,” said Professor Shalva Weil, an expert on violence against women at the Seymour Fox School of Education at Hebrew University and the founder of the Israel Observatory on Femicide. 

In 2021, the number of women killed has dropped significantly compared to the same period last year. 

Shira Isakov suffered years of her husbands abuse. 

Her efforts have been an important outcomes of a bitter trauma.

Isakov married Moshe soon after they had met and Leon was born in November 2018. The first act of violence began the next summer. 

Although Isakov complained to the police and said he had shoved and kicked her, the file was closed due to lack of evidence. 

The couple had made up and decided to give it another try, but Isakov was clear that if there was a second incident it would mean divorce. 

But shortly after that Isakov miscarried a second pregnancy hours after a heated argument, this made the atmosphere in their home increasingly worse.

Ten days later, when Isakov called her parents to say she and Leon would be coming to stay with them, the attempted murder occured. 

Moshe is currently in prison and awaiting his sentencing on an attempted murder conviction. He could spend 20 years or more in prison. 

Isakov has now raised over $50,000 for women in shelters and is now lecturing across the country. 

“I didn’t choose what happened to me,” she said to The New York Times. “But I have chosen my path forward in life, what I do with myself and how I bring up my child.”

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Sydney Taylor is a writer who focuses on News and Entertainment topics.