[Hungary] What should I do if I experience abuse? -Essential information in one place

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26 Nov 2019

What can I do when I experience abuse? Dr Szilvia Gyurkó has gathered this information in one place and adds that the system is not flawless, there may be obstacles at every point, so it is better to ask for help from multiple channels.

If the victim is a child and the abuse is ongoing

In this case, not only members of the child protection system (paediatrician, nurse, kindergarten, school) can report the abuse, but anyone who becomes aware of it, as a family member, neighbour, classmate’s parent. The report may also be made anonymous to any of the following:

-child welfare service

-child welfare centre

-guardianship office

-welfare department

-social assistant in schools and kindergartens.

If there is a serious risk for abuse, the child protections institutions should investigate within 72 hours, but if the person reporting the case suspects that the child’s life is in danger, the police should also be notified before the child protection institutions.

If there is no adult who can (or would) signal, the child in danger must seek help. The Blue Line Foundation’s 116-000 and 116-111 help line can be a channel for this.

In case of online harassment, paedophile activity on the Internet, you can get help through the hotline operated by the Media Authority (nmhh.hu/internethotline), while in case of sexual violence, abuse and harassment you can get help through the help chat on yelon.hu page.

If the abuse took place while the victim was a child, but now it is a grown-up

In this case, the limitation period should be taken into account. Sexual crimes against children committed after 2012 will not expire, but there is a five-year time frame to initiate proceedings in cases of child endangering. If the abuser may be still in contact with minors, it may be advisable to report or make a signal even if the act is out of date. You can get advice from the Victim Support toll-free helpline (0680225225) at the Patent Foundation Legal Aid Service(jog@patent.org.hu, 06702202505). If the offence is statute-barred, under the new Civil Code, the person abused as a child may request a tort in civil proceedings.

If the victim is an adult and there is ongoing abuse

You can call the family support services, ask for help or call the police under the general emergency number (112). You can also call the NANE helpline (0680505101), requesting anonymous advice on the Hungarian Interchurch Aid website (http://segelyszervezet.hu/hu/anomintanacsadas). The National Crisis Line toll-free number (0680205520) is a good place to call if the victim needs a safe place to hide from the abuser.

There are also seven crisis ambulance services where victims of abuse can seek specialist help (http://segelyszervezet.hu/hu/szemelyestanacsadas).

If the victim is an adult and has been abused for years, but later on he or she wants to take action

In this case too, there is a time limitation for legal proceedings, more specifically in case of relationship violence, this is five years.

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