Czech Republic

Population Size:

10,669,709.[1]

Number of People Experiencing Domestic Abuse Each Year:

2015: 0.45 per 100,000 women were murdered by their intimate partners and 0.26 per 100,000 women were murdered by family members, giving the country the 4th highest rate in Europe, behind Montenegro, Lithuania and Latvia.[2]

2014: 32% of women in the Czech Republic reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, and 16% of people in the Czech Republic stated that they knew a woman within their area or neighbourhood who has been a victim of domestic violence.[3]

2013: 21 women in the Czech Republic were killed by their partners or former partners.[4]

2009-2013: 2,999 cases of rape were recorded, of which 1,867 persons were investigated and convicted.[5]

2007: 1,833 people (adult victims and children) were faced with the threat of domestic violence during this year.[6]

2003: 59% of Czech women reported having experienced violence at least once in their life.[7]

Cost of Domestic Abuse to the Economy Each Year:

No research.

Estimated % Change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current Law and Policy:

For many years, domestic violence has been one of the top legislative priorities of the key Government ministries (primarily the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of education, youth, and sports, Ministry of justice, and Ministry of health). The above ministries have launched active and close interdisciplinary cooperation with many different NGOs. The Czech Republic is a signatory of many international instruments promoting prevention of domestic violence, gender equality, and protection of women against violence (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, etc.). Since 2001 the Government Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men has had a Committee for Prevention of Domestic Violence. The government commits to strengthening cooperation of all interested participants, improving protection of victims, including children, strengthening programs of primary prevention, creation of system of work with perpetrators of violence and public education regarding this topic.


The activities of the Ministry of Interior in the area of combating and preventing domestic violence are guided by the Government priorities and activities in promoting gender equality. 2004 of the Act no. 91/2004 Coll., addressing abuse of a person sharing a common home. Domestic violence is a crime punishable by up to three years in prison, with longer sentences in aggravated circumstances. Domestic violence is defined in the Action Plan for the Prevention of Domestic and Gender-based Violence for 2015 – 2018 as all acts of physical, sexual, psychological, economic and other forms of violence occurring in families, or households, between former or existing spouses, partners or close persons regardless if the violent person shares, or has shared the same household with the person affected the violence. Observers reported prosecutors and judges often lacked knowledge on the subject and that there was a shortage of experienced judicial experts. Demanding criminal procedures required repeated victim testimonies that contributed to their further traumatization. Penalties were often too low and only half of all sentences included prison time. However, the government announced in September 2019 it would cut funding by 70 percent for all NGOs working on gender issues. NGOs reported the cuts would lead to their closure or very limited services affecting not only lobbying for equal opportunities for women and men, but also other services they provide such as counselling and legal support to sexually abused women or victims of domestic violence.


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] Crime Prevention Department of the Ministry of the Interior, “Final Report of the Czech Republic on the National Activities within the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence Against Women, Including Domestic Violence”, (2009), Report.

[3] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, “Survey”, (2014), Report.

[4] European Institute for Gender Equality, Combating Violence Against Women: Czech Republic.

[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

[7] ibid.


Further Reading


[1] European Union Crime Prevention Network, “Czech Republic Policy on Domestic Violence”, (eucpn.org).

[2] OECD, “Czech Republic”, (2019), Social Institutions and Gender Index.

[3] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2019 – Czech Republic”, (2019), Report.