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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Hungary law 'fails rape victims'
Woman's silhouette
The report says victims face widespread prejudice
Thousands of rape victims in Hungary are being denied justice, the human rights organisation Amnesty International has said.

An Amnesty report says that in two-thirds of cases the victim knows the attacker, yet few come to court.

Amnesty said women reporting attacks were faced with massive prejudice, even from trained police rape advisers.

Another problem was women were required to prove they physically resisted, no matter what danger they were in.

"In the confines of the family, rape is one of the many forms of violence women may suffer, and they may be subjected to it time and again", said Amnesty spokeswoman Nicola Duckworth.

Rarely discussed

A large number of rape cases in Hungary fail to reach court or do not result in criminal convictions. Either the crime is not reported or police fail to identify the attacker and label the case as a "false report".

Amnesty quoted a Hungarian judge as saying she herself would be reluctant to report a rape, given the prevailing public attitude.

Rape within marriage has been a crime in Hungary for the last 10 years.

But the report said rape in the family was rarely discussed publicly and that an opinion poll carried out in 2006 revealed that 62% did not know marital rape was a crime.

A police officer and adviser on rape issues quoted in the Amnesty report refers to the majority of rape victims as "whores".

"They wanted to have sex, but then do not manage to come to an agreement. They are prostitutes, overtly or secretly," the officer is quoted as saying.

Amnesty has called on the Hungarian government to make legislative changes to ensure women have access to justice and to set up support services for victims of sexual violence.

Country profile: Hungary
14 Mar 07 |  Country profiles


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