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Domestic violence: 70 women are killed by their partners or former partners each year in Hungary

Efforts to eliminate the psychological, physical and sexual abuse of women, children and the elderly are beset by continued indifference, Supreme Court president Péter Darák told a conference in Budapest on Tuesday. Courts' role in suppressing domestic violence by providing immediate legal protection to victims is essential, Darák told the conference of the Hungarian Association of Women Judges, an association that focuses on human rights, discrimination and domestic violence.

Under the new penal code courts will be able to address domestic violence as a separate offence, and violations of children's rights will be reviewed by the ombudsman for fundamental rights on a yearly basis, Darák said.

Domestic violence was made a separate category of offence in the penal code in September in an about-face for Parliament, shortly after it first rejected a petition to stop domestic violence submitted by a women's rights group. The eventual decision to criminalise domestic violence under a separate chapter came after comments by a backbencher from the ruling Fidesz party sparked outrage because he suggested women should have more children before thinking of pursuing a career, as this would induce more respect within the family.

US Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis told the conference that "domestic violence is an issue that every country, every society faces", and public discussion is the most important step in changing attitudes, because violence generally takes place in the private sphere. Domestic violence rates in the US have been lowered by 60 per cent since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 but it still costs over USD 5.8 billion a year, she said.

A demonstration on Sunday, the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, was attended by some 200 participants who marched to Blaha Lujza tér (square) after attending a forum on women who died of domestic violence in 2011.

Some 70 women are killed by their partners or former partners each year in Hungary, according to anti-violence against women association NANE.

Source: Budapest Times

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11

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