Since 1991, 25 November has been the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. More than 100 people in Budapest took part in a march to demand the Hungarian government take domestic violence seriously and ratify the Istanbul Convention. For several years, NANE has organized events to mark this day and raise awareness of domestic violence. This year, NANE planned 16 days of action between November 25 and December 10. Kata Jaksity, the moderator of the event, highlighted the fact that there are currently more than 223,000 women in Hungary living in abusive relationships.
Several personal experiences were shared during the events. Júlia Sprontz, a lawyer for Organisation Patent, pointed out that abusers often use children as a tool of extortion in abusive relationships. According to the statistics from nokjoga.hu, at least three women are murdered each month by their current or former partner.
Marchers stopped in front of the High Court building, where protestors read their claims:
-‘The police should always go if they are called for domestic violence and make arrests if there is a suspicion of violence,
-law enforcement should be trained for such cases,
-112 calls should be stored in a database,
-the victim should no longer be blamed in court, and the victim should not have to wait in the same room as the abuser,
-violence against women should be severely punished, but legitimate self-defence should not be punished, and cases where minors are at risk should be treated with the utmost urgency.’
The march also stopped in front of the Ministry of Human Resources, demanding that:
-‘The child welfare office should not force mediation on a victim,
-consider the children’s feelings and take into account their wishes,
-automatically withdraw the parental right from an abusive parent,
-provide protection rather than institutional betrayal,
- the system should recognize recurring cases through inter-institutional relationships,
-the abuser should be removed from the family, not the child,
-the abuser should leave the house, no matter who holds the title of the property,
-force abusers to pay their debts against the victim,
-greater support for single mothers raising their children,
-fast administration and even faster protection,
-have more shelters where victims of domestic violence can move immediately,
-place abused women and their children in vacant homes,
-training on the subject of domestic violence should be compulsory,
-and finally, ratify the Istanbul Convention.’
The march ended at Kossuth Square, the Parliament.