Cases of domestic violence in Hungary: November-December 2013

It was about a month and a half ago that I began collecting cases of physical violence as they were reported in the media. In each case the attackers and the attacked knew one another. Often they were related or lived in the same household. I’m not at all sure that I managed to get all the cases. In fact, I’m sure that I didn’t because there were days when I simply didn’t have time to go through the news from the section entitled “bulvár” in Hírkereső, an online news search engine, which also includes police news.

The first case happened on November 13. A thirty-year-old father grabbed a butcher knife and attacked his two daughters, ages 4 and 6, and then used the knife on himself. They ended up in the hospital but survived.

On the very same day HVG reported somewhat belatedly that a teacher in Fonyód, a resort town at Lake Balaton, severely beat up his elderly parents on October 3o. Currently he is in pre-trial detention.

A day later a mother found her dead daughter in the box in which bedding is stored under the sofa. It turned out that the twenty-four-year-old woman was killed by her girlfriend. On the same day I found an item on a site from Heves County which reported an earlier crime, committed back in March. A verbal encounter between a man and a woman who lived under the same roof ended with the woman grabbing a piece of broken window glass and stabbing the man in his abdomen. His condition was critical when he arrived at the hospital, but he survived.

domestic violence4On November 13 a man knifed his female friend and her girlfriend. One of them died on the spot. The next day they found the body of a man who had been missing since October 25 in the canal near Kalocsa. The man’s former girlfriend with the help of her father and her new boyfriend killed him and threw his body in the water.

On November 17 the police found the bodies of a couple in their fifties in Debrecen whose quarrel ended with the man killing his wife and committing suicide. The week before the police finally arrested a man who on December 25, 2012 beat up his wife, dragged her to a nearby railroad line, and placed her body on the rails with a box of medication. Her body was found before the train arrived, but she died of her injuries.

Lake Balaton was a dangerous place in November. In the first case a child called the police because he was afraid for his mother’s safety. By the time the police tracked down the address, the woman had been beaten to a pulp by her husband. She asked the police to keep her husband in temporary custody. On the same day in Karcag “an aggressive man was taken into custody” because he attacked members of his family.

For a week no domestic abuse was reported, but when it came it was an ugly one. For years a man and a woman kept their three children in unimaginable circumstances. The regularly beat them, starved them, and made them eat their own feces. Their teachers knew about the case, even reported it to the authorities, but it took three years for the police to take action.

On November 26 it was reported that a sixty-year-old woman from Gyula died of injuries inflicted by her son. She didn’t even make it to the hospital. Meanwhile in Szeged three siblings starved their mother for months and refused her medical care. She died due to neglect and malnutrition. Two days later in Fertőrákos the police tried to quiet a man who threatened to blow up his house. Prior to this outburst he beat up his wife who left him earlier.

On November 28 a forty-year-old man in Gyula beat and subsequently strangled his sixty-year-old mother. On November 29 HVG reported an earlier crime. In December 2012 a fifty-four-year-old woman strangled her drunk partner in Budapest’s District XVIII. Subsequently she cut off his extremities which she hid in a plastic bag which then was placed in a garbage container. His body ended up in the box under the sofa.

There was a quarrel in Decs between a twenty-four-old woman and a thirty-four-year old man. The woman escaped and hid in the courtyard of a house, but he followed her. A young man came to her rescue. He ended up with serious injuries inflicted with a shovel. On December 2 a man from Kazincbarcika received a jail sentence of twenty years; he beat his lover to death in June 2011.

The next news came from Szekszárd. It was about a couple who had been living together for thirteen years. They both drank too much. On July 12 the man went off to work early and apparently drank throughout the day. When he got home he demanded dinner, which she refused to prepare. Then came a 13 cm long knife. He inflicted a life threatening wound. The woman had to be operated on.

A day later, on December 3, the police arrested a man who had escaped to Romania after he killed his former girlfriend. He originally came from Romania but was a Hungarian citizen. The crime was committed in Debrecen. Meanwhile in Kecskemét a man locked up his partner in the apartment, beat her, and forced her to have sex with other men. The woman escaped, the man was arrested.

On December 5, a thirty-nine-year-old man from Csobád in Borsod County knifed his visiting sister. The victim was taken to the hospital in a life-threatening condition. On the same day it was discovered that a woman who gave birth to a premature baby and found herself pregnant again became so depressed and agitated that she threw the baby around and shook her so violently that she inflicted permanent brain damage.

Meanwhile in Paks a forty-one-year-old man who had a history of violence against his wife was after her again, although she had moved out of their house and moved in with his sister. He followed her with two knives in hand. He turned against his wife and sister-in-law. Both received serious injuries. According to the Hungarian Criminal Code, he might receive a minimum of ten or a maximum of twenty years in jail.

On December 7 a father in Füzesabony attacked his six-year-old son who died of his wounds. He then turned against himself, but he made only a couple of superficial cuts. A man in Pécs killed his divorced wife. He used a 15 cm. knife with which he stabbed her 106 times. She died on the spot.

In Tolna County a family gathering ended up in a quarrel between father and son. The father attacked the son with a hammer, which the son managed to get and eventually used against the father. Both ended up in the hospital, the father in serious condition.

On December 23 a Bács-Kiskun online site reported an older case according to which a man from Izsák strangled his eighty-four-year-old mother on August 7. On the same day in Nikla, Somogy County, a thirty-one-year-old woman was so severely beaten by her partner that she died on the spot. The partner escaped but later gave himself up. A day later I read about a man from Győr who after he was released from prison terrorized his wife, threatened to kill her, their four-year-old daughter, and his stepson. He wouldn’t let her out of the house, took away her telephone so she couldn’t call for assistance, beat the children, and the wife. Eventually the case ended up with the police. The last piece of news is from Christmas Eve. Hír24 reported about a man who brutally beat his wife and sewed up her mouth.

I’m pretty sure I missed several equally horrendous stories. Hungarian society is becoming increasingly violent. I read a couple of days ago that a bus driver who enforces the rule that passengers can enter the bus only through the front door receives incredible verbal abuse from people who either have no valid tickets or refuse to buy one or who are simply angry that they have restricted entrance. People have screamed at him: “I will kill you!” Or “I wish you weren’t born!” Or “You should drop dead!”

But what can we expect from people of a country where the president of the parliament, László Kövér, said yesterday on Echo TV: “… the very fact that there is a growth called Ferenc Gyurcsány in politics, about which one must speak only because it is such a scandal that he is still with us. His presence is a purulent wound on the body of democracy.” Shall I say more?

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spicoli
Guest

“Hungarian society is becoming increasingly violent. ”

Yes Eva, these are some very horrible crimes. Sadly they happen all over the world and have been occurring in similar forms since the dawn of the human race. But in the specific case of Hungary, at the present time, how have you been able to conclude things are getting worse? Have you compared your sample against statistics from prior months and years? Also against other EU countries? Can you provide some basic statistics that support your argument?

One more thing are you also inferring that the president of the parliament is causing people to kill each other due to his political rhetoric? If so, I think you should consider posting travel advisories for people to avoid any trips to the UK, US, France or Greece at the moment as I suspect cannibals may be running amok as we speak in those poor, unfortunate countries.

Paul
Guest

Beware people who have sofas with boxes underneath…

Jano
Guest

Eva: “Even at the age of eighteen I knew that there was one thing I didn’t want to do: teach high school kids.”

I had the exact same thought when I was eighteen!.

About the link, this was not by far as bad as I thought it would be. Amongst the first 20 comments I only found one ‘kurva’ and one ‘faszfej’. Nobody has referred to the jews! They are much better than the adults!:)

Joking aside, I think this is fairly standard language nowadays and was when I was in high school, even though we didn’t have blogs like this to unleash our rage about compulsory reading. I think this is probably shocking when you are in an American upper-class environment. I find the language a lot less problematic than the utter lack of appreciation of Art as you put it very well. Mind you, I have no idea why the hatred towards Móricz’s novel, there were by far worse ones. Have you read e.g. Fanni Hagyományai from József Kármán?

petofi
Guest

As I read Eva’s latest, I was also watching American tv. A commercial came on for a program: “The Walking Dead”. My god, I thought, this IS Hungary.

“THE HORROR! THE HORROR!!!”
(apologies to Conrad)

oneill
Guest

“Hungarian society is becoming increasingly violent”

I don’t know about that; what is clear is that such horrific cases are becoming increasingly reported and, especially in the tabloids and commercial TV channels, in quite graphic details.
TV2 6.30pm new programme is no longer watched in our house as this type of story has moved quite obviously into sensationalist voyeurism rather than pure news reporting.

Does all this tie in with the fact that we are now controlled by an authoritarian regime? Yes and no. Beating up your wife or children is quite obviously not the sole preserve of Fidesz/Jobbik MPs, mayors members and voters.

However the primitive sexism which indirectly justifies such actions is propagated by many in the regime and the complete and utter lack of an all-encompassing civic society which not only results in domestic violence but also the demonization and harassment of the handicapped, the homeless, the poor is encapsulated in the figure of Kover.

The fact that this ignorant and fascist thug is not only the speaker of the parliament but also feels quite comfortable in delivering hate speech on a neo-Nazi TV channel speaks volumes about a morally bankrupt party and system.

Guest

There should be statistics on this type of violent behaviour and especially the deaths, but can a Hungarian citizen get them – and are they trustworthy ?

Another problem in Hungary seems to me the (non)treatment of mental disorders, which might be related to the violence problem. Any news on that ?

PS:

Obviously these problems exist all over the world. I just was involved in a discussion on the weapons problem in the USA where it seems that even severely mentally disturbed people have no problem of getting guns – and the police can’t take them away from those people …
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/when-the-right-to-bear-arms-includes-the-mentally-ill.html?hp&_r=1&

In the official homicide statistics at least Hungary doesn’t look too bad:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Joe Simon
Guest

There were some 360,000 gun-related deaths in the US since 9/11. The US is considered to be the most violent country in the world. Some food for thought for HS. This is not a balaced post.

Guest

@Joe:

This is a forum on Hungary, not on the US gun situation – but there are enough of them, so if you want to discuss this, go there …

Just follow my links for data, everybody knows about the US “violence culture”!

PS:

From Joe again a nice example of kindergarden logic:
The other guy did something as bad – so why am I being punished ?
Poor fellow will probably never learn – it seems to be the Hungarian “blame culture” …

Jeremy Wheeler
Guest
My connexion with Hungary began some ten or so years ago when I worked with the police on issues of human rights and discrimination and I welcome any attempt to put domestic violence (and how the authorities react to it) under the spotlight. Undoubtedly, Hungary has much work to do in this area and the change to the law in July, making domestic violence a specific category of offence, is only the first small step. The real work lies in changing attitudes and, as in other countries over the past couple of decades, that involves a recognition that what goes on in families, formerly seen as exclusively in the private sphere, is a matter of public concern. Like other commenters, though, I am a little concerned at the suggestion that Hungary is becoming increasingly violent. In fact the murder rate, for example, has halved since 1995 and remains consistent at around 1.4/1.5 per 100.000 people per year – pretty much the same as the UK, say – and that suggests that the country is becoming less violent. I also agree that the kind of rhetoric used by some politicians is abhorrent and worthy of criticism. I’m not entirely convniced, though,… Read more »
Ron
Guest

Wolfi: In the official homicide statistics at least Hungary doesn’t look too bad.

The Mortality rate statistics have not been updated since 2010, especially by the EU. I wonder what the status is now.

Ron
Guest

Eva: Changing of the guards? Are you sure about this? According to me they are performing a dance. Secondly: Should you not do this outside? Something with perimeter, etc.

I love that kid’s comment. “mit csinál a bácsi?”

Louis Kovach
Guest

Dr.Balogh writes: “Jeremy, I know that murders are down but not all violence end up in murder. In my opinion Hungarians’ reaction are often very aggressive and yes, often violent.”

I would have expected someone, who was even a housemother at a Yale college, to be able to write properly in English. Aside from the incorrect grammar, in both sentences, what does the second sentence mmean?
Hungarian reaction to what?

Joe Simon
Guest

@Wolfi

In order to understand and evaluate any topic, especially statistics,
you must compare.

GW
Guest

Joe Simon once again uses the kind of argument good parents would never allow their children: to excuse bad behavior by arguing that “others do it, too.” The point here is not to compare one nation to another, but to help make Hungary a better nation by calling attention to areas requiring improvement. Joe, do you really hate Hungary and its people so much that you don’t wish for it to have less domestic violence?

Mutt
Guest

Louise, ask your wifey to print out the other comments too, not just the last one. Then you will understand … I hope.

tappanch
Guest

Official lawlessness in Hungary.

Prosecutors Office:

The charge against whistle-blower Horvath by the police was “crime A”,
it is untenable,
we retroactively downgrade the charge to “misdemeanor B”.

But we also retroactively approve the search of Horvath’s home and the confiscation
of his documents, diary and laptop on December 19, although it was based on the wrong charge of “crime A”.

http://www.mklu.hu/pdf/sajto/sajto_20131230-2_fovfou_kozlemeny_allaspont.pdf

Guest

I hope that Louis(e) and Joe have had a nice Xmas – the way they’re behaving again though speaks against that …

A grammatical/spelling/typing error can happen to anyone – even you! I won’t start citing all the examples.

PS:

It’s really funny that Joe always compares Hungary to the USA – of course for a “Tiszta Magyar” Hungary is the greatest country on earth, so that’s normal in his eyes. If you want to see some really crazy guy, just look for the comments of some “Adam Ferencsy” on pol.hu …

Member
The Heart of the Hungarian Syndrome Yes, proportions and time-lines for various categories of violence would be useful so we can compare Hungary with the rest of the world. (Otherwise it’s just the sound of one hand clapping.) Yes, allowances have to be made for the fact that we are old fogeys and did not grow up with the same pungent palaver. And yes, that style is probably global on teen chat sites (and adult ones too). But that doesn’t condone it. (And the level of substance is even lower than the level of style!) What really causes shivers is Eva’s quote, from the honourable speaker, Mr. Laszlo Kover: “… the very fact that there is a growth called Ferenc Gyurcsány in politics, about which one must speak only because it is such a scandal that he is still with us. His presence is a purulent wound on the body of democracy.” What I find far more shocking than the Hungarian brainless, tasteless teen drivel, or even Hungary’s sick, sickening domestic violence, is the fact that the Hungarian populace is utterly blind to the putrescent purulence pouring from the festering Fidesz infestation that is actually engulfing them, and instead reflexively… Read more »
Member

PS: Expat trolls like “Joe Simon” and “Louis Kovach” are symptoms of the metastasis of the H syndrome….

petofi
Guest

Joe Simon :
There were some 360,000 gun-related deaths in the US since 9/11. The US is considered to be the most violent country in the world. Some food for thought for HS. This is not a balaced post.

Joe, Joe, Joe…

Tell me, Joe, have you ever picked your feet in Poughkeepsie?

The US is NOT the most violent country in the world. How would you know the level of violence in Russia, for instance, since you probably can’t trust their statistics (if they had any).

Or the levels of violence Central America, South America, Africa, the Near East…etc.

Note that in Hungary their are few guns yet paramilitary groups are sprouting–the ones of Orban and Kover come to mind.

So, just because the powers-that-be sits in the necks of the populace…that doesn’t mean that their isn’t a seething, coiling, violence-producing anger in the belly of society…

spicoli
Guest

“To Spicoli, Of course, I have no time to do in-depth research you would like to see. What we all see, however, is an ever increasing crassness in society.”

Hi Eva, so you are therefore being a bit lazy in your declaration that Hungarians are turning into tortuous psychopaths due to Fidesz being in power?

I mean seriously if you are going to make such accusations you need to add a bit more rigor to the development of your hypothesis.

On the other hand though I did read that conversation amongst Hungarian high school students you posted a link to. Aside from a few f-bombs here and there it was a thoughtful and polite discourse on the merits of the book. Maybe I missed it but I did not see any death threats or accusations of lip sewing and sofa burials. I could not even find a single reference to horse anatomy.

Looks to me that the critical reasoning skills of Hungarian High School students are outperforming the best that Yale has to offer. 🙂

res res res 2014
Guest

Stevan Harnad #23 ” Hungarian populace is utterly blind to the putrescent purulence pouring from the festering Fidesz infestation that is actually engulfing them, and instead reflexively redirecting blame toward a completely innocent individual who tried to help..”

Not all are guilty.

OTOH:

The non-guilty is also becoming guilty if hesitates to resist the orban-kover-vona-morvay type enemies of the nations.

Louis Kovach
Guest

Dr Balogh writes: “Or the hatefulness of Kovach. Wolfi is right, the Christmas spirit didn’t touch these guys. The only thing they know is to attack others in an ad hominem manner.”

Dr Balogh, you are such a good teacher in the practice of “hatefulness”. I learned the style here on your so called blog.

At least I do not attack whole nations “in an ad hominem” manner as you do with Hungary.

Now it is a Christmas spirit? What happened to your Holiday spirits?

Louis Kovach
Guest

The murder rate and count decreased significantly in Hungary from 1995 on: Hungary Rate 2.9 2.6 2.8 2.8 2.5 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.3 2.1 1.6 1.7 1.5 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.4
Count 296 271 289 289 253 205 254 203 236 209 164 174 154 146 139 133 142

Perhaps the, then extant, governments and their leaders are responsible for those high murder rates?

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