Hungarian Policy on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence involves the constant ill-treatment of many children and women. Research shows that people who were ill-treated as children frequently show a tendency to violence themselves.

The priorities of crime prevention were firstly defined by the National Strategy for Community Crime Prevention (2003) reacting to the actual challenges of crime. The Strategy had a separate chapter dealing with the prevention of domestic violence. According to the approach of the Strategy there are three effective means of preventing violence within the family: early recognition of abuse and neglect via an effective early warning system, special training for cooperating professionals, and operating an institutional protection system.

The aim and concept was that the professional measures for handling family violence and the cooperation between organizations might break the recycling of violence from generation to generation. Services to provide physical and mental security for women, children, elderly people and invalids who have become victims of violence, issuing exclusion (protection) orders, providing crisis-intervention accommodations for victims and rehabilitation schemes for offenders reduce the chance of becoming subject to repeated violence.

These aims have been carried out through the following measures in Hungary  in the last ten years:

  • Since 2005 Crisis Intervention Centres have been operating in order to help people seeking refuge because of domestic violence. Victims may stay here in safety and secretly for 30+30 days, they are provided with financial, psychological, social, legal support and get help in planning their everyday life in the future. The Crisis Intervention Centres are open for 24 hours a day and the non-stop National Crisis Telephone Information Service (OKIT) is organizing admission as soon as possible. In 2008 1300 persons have asked for and received asylum and practical support in these Centres.
  • Since 2006 a state-funded Victim Support Service has been operating in Hungary. The Service consists of the Victim Support Unit of Office of Justice and local victim support services at county seats (all over the country). The Service can provide financial, legal, psychological and practical support - not only for domestic violence victims but also for victims of any other types of crime.
  • Since 2006 the Charity Sorsunk es Jovonk (Our Fate and Future) is operating a shelter for abused persons. 
  • In 2008 the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour launched a reintegration model-project for victims escaping from domestic violence. As a result there are half-way houses in the country where the assaulted and maltreated single women and families can start a new life.
  • There were changes of great importance in relevant legislation: there is a possibility for issuing a protection order during the criminal proceedings (since 2006 due to the amendment of the Act XIX of 1998 on Criminal Proceedings); also provisional preventive and preventive protection orders might be issued before or instead of criminal proceedings (under Act LXXII of 2009 on protection order because of violence among relatives); and finally the new Criminal Code of Hungary (Act C of 2012 on the Criminal Code which entered into force on the 1st July, 2013) introduced a new statutory provision: “Domestic Violence” (which was not a sui generis crime before that).

The new national strategy of social prevention of crime elaborated by the National Crime Prevention Council has been brought into force on 18 October 2013 by Governmental resolution1744/2013 on the National Crime Prevention Strategy (2013-2023). One of the four priority areas of the Strategy is prevention of victimization and providing support for victims. This refer also to domestic violence victims.

(More information: http://www.bunmegelozes.info)

Contact details:
franciska.kovari@bm.gov.hu or zsofia.toth@bm.gov.hu (European Cooperation Department, Ministry of Interior, Hungary)