Abused women speak out and seek refuge

As women feel more empowered to speak publicly about their experiences and seek help, it becomes clear that Hungary is in dire need of safe houses for abused women.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Abused women speak out and seek refuge - NewsMavens
Girl on phone, Budapest Hungary, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

Shame, fear and dependency -- these are some of the factors that prevent abused women from seeking help. Yet in the last 15-20 years, prevention and education have resulted in more and more women speaking out and showing others that there are alternatives to an abusive relationship. 

Thanks to these women, an increasing number of cases have come to light over recent years. According to experts, it is younger women -- especially those between 25 and 30 -- who are most willing to come forward.

“A generation has grown up whose members fully understand what domestic violence really is. This is not the case with older people,”  said Dániel Bíró, director of Borostyánvirág Mother’s Home, a safe house for women in the city of Kaposvár.

This is proof that prevention and education are necessary and effective.

However, this “positive” development also means there is a growing need for safe houses and crisis centres. New facilities cannot be built without financial help and professionals willing to work there. And at the moment there is a lack of both.

Details from the story:

  • Contrary to common perception, abuse is not more widespread among poorer, lower classes. Middle-class women often remain under the radar because they might be more independent financially and can escape an abusive relationship without having to turn to safe houses. 
  • There are around 20 crisis centres around the country which can host 200 women. Ten years ago there were around 8 crisis centres with a capacity of 60 people.
  • Around 60 people graduate as social workers annually. It is not an attractive career, mainly, for financial reasons: a social worker at the beginning of her career earns around 569 euros (before tax).
  • One in five children has seen their parents have a physical altercation.
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