Prague, Feb 18 (CTK) – Up to 38 percent of Czech men have experienced domestic violence from their female partners and the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is drafting a bill to ease the situation of these victims, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today, referring to results of recent surveys.
Last year, some 600 men asked the authorities for a shelter to hide from their aggressive partners, while wives or female partners were expelled from their home in 160 cases.
Experts point out that this is just a tip of the iceberg as for men it is much more difficult than for women to admit that they have become victims of domestic violence.
“Men often feel ashamed about what is happening in their homes and refuse to accept aid. With time, they are psychologically exhausted and lack energy to tackle anything,” Zdenka Prokopova, from the Rosa NGO helping domestic violence victims, told MfD.
The paper refers to three recent polls that reached very different results. The first one shows that some 7 percent of men face domestic violence, the second one speaks about 10 percent, while the third poll says that up to 38 percent of men are threatened with domestic violence.
Such high discrepancies in the results are given to the fact that unlike women, men can hardly identify themselves as victims.
They face not only physical violence, but also psychological pressure, humiliation as well as sexual and “economic violence,” for instance, if they are forced to give the whole income to their partners. Besides, men suffer from “social violence” if their partner isolates them from relatives and other people and have everything under control.
While women can use secret asylum homes and flats if they need to escape from their partners tormenting them, there are no asylum homes for male victims of domestic violence in the country.
This is why the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is preparing an amendment to the law on social services in this respect. “It will include a new target group – victim of gender-conditioned violence,” ministry spokesman Vladimir Dostalek told the paper.
Consequently, if maltreated men turn to an intervention centre, they will be offered help from experts, such as psychologists and therapists. Along with psychological support, they will be provided with legal consultancy, given advice about how to leave an aggressive wife and gain custody of their children.
The number of men who fall victims to domestic violence has been rising, said Lada Polakova, from the Prague Social Services Centre. “This is still a delicate issue, but men are turning to us and seek help, though we know that there are many more hidden cases of this kind not only in Prague but all over the Czech Republic,” Polakova told MfD.