New Domestic Violence Law in Czech Republic Takes Effect
Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:22 AM

In 2007 a new law in the Czech Republic took effect which allows police to remove a batterer from the home for up to 10 days.  The law has begun to be enforced and women are calling police for help.  Four men in Prague were removed from their homes in January, and so far in February, 8 peope have been asked to leave their homes. 

Dr. Marie Susterova, the Chief  Coordinator at Prague's Domestic Violence Intervention Center, stated that "It is mostly the victims themselves who call for help, but there are also calls from neighbors and relatives.  The new law has been getting a lot of media coverage, motivating neighbors to report abusers to the police.  Now they know that officers have the legal right to intervene and expel the abuser...Since domestic violence tends to escalate, the police also have access to a database that has details about all previous reported cases of abuse."

Dr. Susterova drew attention to one problem with the new law:  although abusers must leave the home, they are allowed to approach their victims, without committing an offense, when the victim leaves the home.  "In many other countries," she said, "abusers are not only expelled but are also prohibited to come into any form of contact with the victims.  So, they can neither speak to them nor come close."

A social worker from the Domestic Violence Intervention Center provides legal, social and psychological support to the victims.

Compiled from:  Radio Prague News for 20 February 2007, by Dita Asiedu.  See for 20/02/07.

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