• M.P. Geulah

Sara and Yishai Levy: Murdered By Their Own Father

Sara and Yishai Levy, two beautiful Jewish children,  were brutally murdered by their father, Avraham Levy, while spending time with him in Israel for their bi-annual visitation in 2014.  The children were full of life and 'had a really deep loving relationship with their mother,' said Gordon Hecker, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Columbus. Their mother had divorced their father a few years before.  She filed domestic violence charges against her husband 2 times in 2005 and 2009 for beating her.  She even had to spend time in a battered women's shelter after the divorce to protect herself.  Since her ex-husband refused to pay child support, she won main custody of the children, but the court gave the father bi-annual yearly visitation as part of the divorce settlement.  The organization that represented the mother during the divorce process said she was afraid he would hurt the children. The husband's family was very supportive of him despite his horrible behavior towards his wife.  In the end he murdered his two children.  

What happened to Sara and Yishai should be a lesson to judges who award custody or visitation to abusers.  The results could be tragic.  Its like playing Russian roulette with children's lives.  Lawyers who defend abusers should think twice about the harm they may be causing.

An abusive person is an abusive person.  As we all know its not easy to change personality traits or habits.  If a husband beats his wife, its clear that he has violent tendencies.  Even if he hasn't abused the children yet, that doesn't mean he wont abuse them in the future.  Once his wife is out of the picture he may take out his anger on the next easy target, the children.  He may also abuse the children in order to take revenge on his ex-wife for leaving him and hurting his pride. 

For these reasons, custody or unsupervised visitation should not be given to people with a history of abusive behavior.  Children don't have a voice. They cannot defend themselves against physical abuse or molestation.  Its easy for an abuser to scare them into silence.   A wife can leave her husband if she is being abused, but children cannot just pack their bags and leave if they are hurt.  What can they do to defend themselves?  Who will believe them if they report the abuse?  Its up to the courts to defend them.  And the courts are doing a terrible job.  Thousands of children are physically abused or molested by family members and there is no one to fight for their rights.  Even children who report the abuse are ignored.  Mothers who attempt to defend their children against abusive fathers are accused of parental alienation and may risk losing custody of their children altogether.

For the sake of Sara and Yishai Levy and the thousands of other children who are abused or even murdered, we must change the corrupt system.  We must protect the children who are our future. If there is documented evidence of physical or sexual abuse towards wives or children, custody should not be given to the abusive parent. 

Judges who award custody to abusive parents should be sued for damages.   

In the case of Sarah and Yishai Levy the court found their father guilty of murder and ordered him to pay his ex-wife about $130,000.  But why shouldn't the judges who awarded him custody in the first place despite his violent behavior in the past be forced to pay as well?  Why shouldn't the judges spend time in jail for risking the lives of innocent children?  Are these children's lives cheap?  Should their mother have had to go through the pain of losing her precious children despite the fact that she had voiced her concerns for their safety?  Why aren't the judges listening?  Why aren't they held responsible for the deaths of the children? 

Policy has to change.

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