I am so proud of and impressed by the stamina of Rivka Meyer speaking out and increasing awareness about Get refusal. The purpose of the Get (Jewish divorce) within Jewish law was to protect women thousands of years ago, but it is now being used as a tool of religious abuse. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 has made a huge step forward by including Get refusal as a form of domestic abuse and it is amazing that the likes of Lord Mendelsohn are discussing this in parliament. However, now is the time for Orthodox Jewish groups to accept that Jewish law and British law can work together to unchain women trapped in dead marriages.
An amendment to the statutory guidance under the Domestic Abuse Act now says that withholding a get can be a form of domestic abuse. If it is deemed controlling or coercive behaviour, the man could be charged and, if found guilty, imprisoned. Ministers hope the change will give women more power to complain to the authorities about their former partners for not granting a religious divorce.