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The Hungarian government rejects any form of violence and is committed to fighting violence against women, the human resources ministry said in a statement, marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to the statement, the Hungarian penal code is “one of the most stringent” pieces of legislation in Europe, with special regard to violent crimes targeting women. The government will “do everything to protect Hungary and Hungarian women from mass migration and ensuing violent crimes against women, which have radically increased in immigrant destination countries”, the ministry said. The statement noted, at the same time, that women most often faced violence in relationships, adding that the ministry strived to improve its infrastructure of helping women in trouble. The ministry currently runs a 24-hour hotline, as well as 20 crisis centres, covered shelters and other facilities to assist abused women nationwide, the document added.
Meanwhile, the green opposition LMP marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and called on the government to ratify the Istanbul Convention and step up efforts to combat domestic abuse against women. The Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention obliges states that ratify it to release regular statistics, Krisztina Hohn of the LMP group told a press conference. Ratifying the convention would also force Hungary to make its criminal code stricter and it would stipulate that police should get training on how to handle domestic abuse, she added. Perpetrators of violence would be obliged to undergo treatment and victims would be eligible for help, she said.
Millions of people in Hungary have been subjected to emotional abuse within their family, and hundreds of thousands have suffered physical violence, she said, adding that almost 300,000 have been victims of sexual abuse. Hohn added that in many cases procedures were not launched because the perpetrators were people of influence. She rejected claims by the justice minister who has argued that the situation of women in Hungary is good and the government is going to great lengths to combat domestic violence.
Hungary’s National Police Headquarters (ORFK) is teaming up with the national crisis hotline to launch a campaign aimed at preventing domestic violence, the police said on its website. The campaign dubbed “Silence is the loudest scream: hear it!” is part of the OSCE’s project aimed at combatting sexual assault and domestic violence. It runs until Dec. 4. The statement noted that domestic violence was criminalised in Hungary under the penal code passed in 2013.