REVIEW #18: Flawed Family Laws in Hungary

Family. It is supposed to be a group of people where all individuals can find safety, acceptance, and limitless care whatever their temperament or special needs are. However, there are situations, in which all of these things which bind a group of people into a family become impossible, and nothing remains – only a nightmare. A nightmare, which cannot be seen by other people, it is just a deep, and shameful secret: domestic violence.

There are countless spouses who live their everyday life in an alternate reality suffering from unspeakable pain under physical and psychological violence. On the other hand, there are those who do escape, but thereafter cannot survive the brave choice to live.  At the moment, according to statistics, one woman is killed every week in Hungary because she tried to leave an abusive relationship.[1]


The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU)[2] declares the right to security, the equality of men and women, and declares the rights of the child. However, at the end of November 2022, the Hungarian government passed a new law, which proclaims that from now on, the state would only help the vulnerable as a last resort, when both the family and the local government have already failed.

In Hungary, the family is legislatively declared in the constitution[3] as a unit where the father is a man and the mother is a woman, and – according to the new social law[4] – the families should attempt to first solve the problem among themselves. But what if the issue is a dysfunctional family? Therefore, this is the official background where the survivors must fight for themselves, because the government has turned a blind eye to a lot of social needs.

These issues in society still remain invisible and, as such, they should be addressed. Because it does not matter that the government is blind to a problem, the society can make changes on its own if taboos are broken, and blind spots identified.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic abuse, also known as ‘intimate partner violence’, is a pervasive problem in many countries around the world, including Hungary. According to a report by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, more than one in three women in Hungary experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner during their lifetime[5].

Domestic abuse is a complex problem that can have multiple causes. One of the most common factors is power and control. Abusers may use violence and other forms of abuse to assert their dominance over their partners and maintain control over them. Other factors that can contribute to domestic abuse include poverty, substance abuse, and mental health problems[6].

[1] Borbola, L. (2020) Legyen Nőnap! Legyen ciki a bántalmazás!.

Available [online]: [in Hungarian]

[2] Council of the European Union (2000) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.Available [online]:



[5] Németh, E. (2012) “Hozzátartozók sérelmére elkövetett erőszakos cselekmények”, [in]: [online]: [in Hungarian]

[6] Herman, J. (2019) Trauma és gyógyulás, Budapest: Háttér Kiadó.


Single Page-Review18   

Double Page-Review18