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rape culture

This police video from Hungary is being slammed for blaming rape victims

The video shows a group of young women drinking and dressing up and suggest it encourages rape.


THEY WERE FEW in number given the cold and too chilly to wear the skimpy outfits and fishnet tights typical of “SlutWalk” demonstrations. But there was no doubt the marchers in “macho” Hungary were boiling with rage.

Around 200 protesters — mostly women — turned out to slam a new police safety video that campaigners say puts the blame for rape on the victim — an allegation rejected by the right-wing government.

The short film shows a trio of young women dressed up to the nines drinking heavily during a night out on the town, knocking back the shots and hitting the dance floor.

One later ends up the victim of a sexual attack.

“You can do something about it, you can do something against it!” is the clip’s advice.

“The video tells you that it’s your fault, when the research shows that in 70% of rape cases the attacker is someone the victim already knows,” railed Anna Gombos, a 31-year-old accountant who helped organise the march for SlutWalk, a global group against victim-blaming.

“Committing rape against a prostitute is just as much of a crime as against a nun,” Anna Rez, a 29-year-old philosopher, said at the protest.

Macho Magyars 

According to campaigners, only one in 10 rapes is reported to the authorities in this central European country of 10 million. The reluctance, they say, is due to a police tendency to blame women for the crime.

Critics say this is symptomatic of what they call a rise in machismo under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a father-of-five populist who upholds “Christian values”.

Orban has also been accused of centralising power, stifling the opposition and curbing the independence of the judiciary and media since he came to power in 2010.

The premier, whose country is in the European Union, has no women in his cabinet. And women deputies account for only 10% of the 199-seat lower house of parliament, placing Hungary near the bottom among states in the world-wide Inter-Parliamentary Union — and the worst for a European country.

PastedImage-96588 The police video has drawn the ire of many Hungarian's for promoting the practice of victim blaming. Youtube / Ukraine Today Youtube / Ukraine Today / Ukraine Today

“You cannot call this a democracy, when half the population has no representation,” said Krisztina Debreceni, a 26-year-old financial administrator clutching a “Macho parliament, not democracy” sign at the protest.

Experts say that in the 25 years of rapid change since communism fell, gender issues have been far from the top of the “to-do” list.

Quotas might help, as they have in other former Soviet Bloc countries, they contend.

“You cannot say that Hungary is more conservative than Slovakia, or Poland is less macho. The lack of quota is what makes the difference,” said Andrea Peto from the Central European University.

But government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs debunks quotas as a bad idea.

He also disputes any political discrimination against Hungarian women, saying several state secretaries are female. He cited government policies designed to help women, such as extended maternity leave, more part-time jobs and increased state benefits that reward women for staying at home.

“From a demographics perspective there is a need to have more babies,” Kovacs told AFP.

© – AFP 2014

Read: “Everyone considers them as rape fraternities” – US colleges have a rape problem >

Read: T-shirt that called rape “a snuggle with a struggle” pulled from department stores >

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