Protection of Our Children: Protection of Our Future - Establishing a Children- and Youth Protection Pact in the Micro-Region
The aim of the project was to establish a system of signalization in order to increase public security in the micro-region “Homokhát” (its centre is Mórahalom). 41 percents of the population live at tanyas (farms). (The tanya is a special structure of settlement, typical in Hungary, closer in the Southern regions. The tanyavilág [world of tanyas] is a group of family houses situated scattered around a settlement, separately and far from each other with low infrastructure [there is no running water and gas, often no electricity].) The inhabitants of the tanyas (farms) are mostly ones who moved from the town because of social reasons and suffer of existential difficulties (the number of unemployed people is high among them, in most of the cases their only incomes are social aids given by the government). Because of the isolated location and the lower level of social control, the population of “tanyas” (farms) are more defenceless and hard to be reached by the helping organizations and the risk to become an offender or/and a victim of a crime is higher among them. Therefore, the implementation of the program was quite reasonable.
The National Crime Prevention Board has supported the nine-month-long project delivery by 6000 Euros (in its complexity – not only aimed against domestic violence). The results of the preliminary situation analysis as part of the project at the micro-region “Homokhát” and the reports towards the members of the just established system of signalization showed that domestic violence is a more important problem in the region than the national average. The victims often live in “tanyas” in the scattered area, most of them with multiple social disadvantages, they are usually children and mothers with a family of more children.
The other reason for the implementation of the project was the lack of appropriate legal background in Hungary for handling the cases of domestic violence. (Stalking is not a crime; the institution of exclusion order seems ineffective; the opportunities for solving the problem are narrow; the use of therapy is quite difficult for both the victim and the offender, considering the special features of the micro-region.)
That is why handling domestic violence was the emphasized component of the complex crime prevention project. Our aim was to establish an effectively operating system of signalization and to promote the cooperation of the different organizations in order to make the necessary information available and provide help for the victims and the offenders. Reaching the inhabitants living in scattered areas was difficult. Showing the film, spreading the flyers, organising conferences, media appearances and the presentations at schools, all have served the effective approach of the target groups. The widespread cooperation of authorities and civil organizations and the information exchange in the certain field were the innovative elements of the project in order to handle domestic violence.
We have measured the efficiency of the components with the help of indicators. According to the results of the final study the project was successful: it could reach the aims previously defined. The “dark numbers” have decreased: the number of the reports towards the members of the system of signalization has increased. A widespread cooperation has been established among the members of the system of signalization. We managed to reach the people in need, the (potential) victims and offenders of domestic violence.
The project started in 2007 and is now finished.
Last review: January 2020.