Man 'attacks wife, lawyer' after custody hearing
Published Tuesday 17/04/2012 (updated) 18/04/2012 13:19
Lawyer and women's rights activist
Intisar Yousif Iseifan. (MaanImages/HO)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A man from Hebron attacked his wife and her female lawyer following a custody hearing on Tuesday, the lawyer said.
Intisar Yousif Iseifan, a 46-year-old lawyer and women's rights activist, told Ma'an the man attacked her and his wife after a custody case at a religious court in Dura near Hebron.
Iseifan's client was seeking custody of her son, 11, and 6-year-old daughter after separating from her husband. She says her husband mistreated her during their marriage and has rejected his attempts at reconciliation.
Iseifan says the man punched his wife in the jaw and the chest in the courthouse after the hearing.
"The wife was afraid of her husband, and she asked me to take her to a safe place after the hearing until she can go back home without being harassed or assaulted by her husband. I took her to my office in the center for Defending Women and Children Victims of Violence, which I run."
The office is in the same building as the court, and the husband followed the women into the center, Iseifan said.
"We were about to open the door and enter the office when the husband suddenly pushed the door violently, When I tried to stop him, he started to beat and punch me, and I shouted at my colleagues who were in the lobby to help me."
She added: "I tried to defend myself using files I had in my hand, but he punched me on the left side of my head and I fell on the ground just before other lawyers arrived and stopped him."
Iseifan has filed a complaint against the man and the prosecutor ordered police to bring him to court immediately. Police have not yet found the suspect.
The religious court has not issued a decision on the custody case, and the children's father has so far refused to give up custody or allow his wife to visit regularly, Iseifan said.
Iseifan says domestic violence against women and children is on the rise, noting that women have recently filed 20 cases with the court in Dura over family problems.