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Hungary’s government is committed to taking a tough stand against violent crime and devotes special attention to helping victims of domestic violence, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Thursday, the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The government has implemented a support system offering domestic violence victims psychological assistance, legal support, general information or immediate financial assistance in a time of crisis, Varga said on Facebook. Hungary has also recently set up a network of victim support centres and the goal is to have such an institution in every county seat by 2025, Varga said. A 24-hour hotline is also available to those in need, she added. Varga encouraged people to speak out and seek professional help if they are victims of a crime or know someone who is.
Meanwhile, Katalin Novák, the family affairs minister, said domestic violence was not a private affair, and that it was “our common duty” to raise awareness in the matter. “All forms of violence, including domestic violence, are unacceptable, and perpetrators are always the ones responsible, not the victims,” Novák said in her video message posted on Facebook. “It is our duty to call attention to the issue and tell people that there is help and there are institutions anyone can turn to,” she said. Novák said that over the past decade, Hungary’s government has worked with civil organisations on setting up a well-working victim support network. The number of protected victim shelters has grown to eight, and several crisis centres have been set up, she said. Teachers, social workers and police officers are being trained to detect signs of domestic violence that can be otherwise hard to recognise, she said. The United Nations General Assembly has declared November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in remembrance of the human rights activist Mirabal sisters, whom Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo had murdered on this day in 1960.