Health system to blame for murder of teenage girl, women’s organizations say

Following the suspicion murder of 17-year-old Lital Yael Melnik and the subsequent arrest of a 49-year-old man who worked as a nurse in the psychiatric ward of Tirat Hacarmel where Melnik was hospitalized, women’s organizations have drawn attention to failures in mental health services that can endanger patients and allowing the murder of Melnik.

Melnik was found partially buried near a park in Kiryat Motzkin on Saturday morning, after a passerby contacted police to report suspicious activity. When reporting her missing, Melnik’s grandmother gave police the name of a 49-year-old man from Kiryat Motzkin who was believed to have been closely related to the girl.

During the police investigation into the murder, the suspect allegedly said Melnik’s grandmother had already issued a restraining order against him, according to N12.

Service workers were said to have been aware of the suspect’s inappropriate attention to Melnik, Kan reported on Sunday. Police also reportedly alerted the hospital to inappropriate behavior on the part of the suspect and a young woman on the ward, N12 reported.

This was apparently not the first incident in which a young patient was assaulted by staff on the ward. A security guard at the institute was accused of sodomizing a 13-year-old patient about six months ago, N12 reported.

“We are not safe in the health care system,” the head of the Israel Lobby Against Sexual Violence said, Yael Sherer on Twitter Sunday. “It’s no accident, it’s their policy and a nice girl has paid with her life for their fight to make sure they don’t touch [abusers].

“A psychiatric nurse has dealings with minors in hospital and it’s known and documented and the mental health system doesn’t kick that person out from within. And that’s certainly not an abnormal incident. The rule is that the health ministry allows sex offenders to continue operating. Unfortunately, this is normal. “

Sherer also commented on the systems in place allowing people hospitalized in psychiatric wards to complain, saying those who complain face “mistrust, contempt and sometimes real punishment from staff.” Sherer also commented on the treatment of the police, saying that patients who complain “certainly do not enjoy the trust of the police.”

“In a place where there is no chance of punishment, sexual violence is rife and opportunists are heading to the city.”

“She didn’t deserve what happened to her at all, no one deserves it, but in today’s reality it happens far too often,” a friend of Melnik’s told feminist news outlet Politically Correct . “I hope no one is going through this,” she concluded.

“Her blood is on the hands of the people who were supposed to take care of this girl,” the Tal Aviv branch of the SlutWalk organization said on Twitter on Saturday.

WITH the advent of COVID-19, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel has seen a 30% increase in calls or visits to its local centers across the country. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG / FLASH90)

“How come Lital Yael Melnik’s grandmother gets a restraining order against the employee suspected of murdering her grandson and the staff in the psychiatric ward don’t know? Don’t ask questions? does not see fit to fire the worker who takes advantage of the minors? “

Shira Silkoff contributed to this report.

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