The Zonta Club of Szombathely, Hungary, has its own anti-violence program where they visit schools regularly. However, the program was suspended due to COVID-19.
The club already had a donation relationship with the Victim Support Center in Szombathely, but they did not know its activities completely. Members held a virtual meeting with the support center’s coordinator to learn more about the organization’s services and how to spread awareness.
The state victim support system is not widely known, although it provides professionally designed services to victims. One element of this is the Victim Support Center, maintained by the Ministry of Justice.
They can be approached by anyone who has suffered emotional, physical or property injury, has been the victim of a crime ranging from relationship violence, robbery, harassment at work, cyberbullying or fraud to human trafficking. The victim can receive free counseling from professionals (social worker, psychologist, lawyer) in the form of advocacy, such as helpful conversation, emotional support and personalized counseling to advance their case.
It is important that, in addition to the victim, his or her relative or witness to the incident can request assistance while remaining anonymous. Disclosure of the name is only required in the case of a reportable complaint.
The Hungarian state is committed to the elimination of all forms of violence and to the protection of victims. In addition to the centers, it also operates regional specialist services and sheltered accommodation. The Victim Support Line, available on the green number 06 80 225 225, can be called free of charge every day of the week 24 hours a day.
The Szombathely Victim Support Center has been operating since 2018, and by 2025 the service will be available in all county capitals.