Issuu on Google+

COUNTRY REPORT SLOVAKIA December 1, 2012


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

INTRODUCTION In 2010, a European project addressing Youth Sexual Aggression and Victimization (Y-SAV) was launched. Y-SAV is a three-year project co-financed by the European Union in the framework of the Health Programme to address the issue of sexual aggression and victimization among young people. The project aims to build a multidisciplinary network of European experts in various member states, bring together the knowledge on youth sexual aggression and victimization in a state-of-the-art database, develop a more harmonised way of measuring these issues and provide recommendations for strategic action to address the problem of youth sexual aggression under different circumstances in different EU member states. This report is part of the Y-SAV knowledge base. The knowledge base presents information regarding youth sexual aggression and victimization for each EU member state. This report presents the current situation in Slovakia regarding policies, legislation, organisations, prevalence, risk factors and evidence-based interventions in the area of youth sexual aggression and victimization. This report was compiled by the Y-SAV principal investigators at the University of Stockholm (Sweden), Rutgers WPF (The Netherlands) and the University of Potsdam (Germany). We would like to acknowledge Dr. Gabriel Bianchi and Janka Zbonkova (Slovak Academy of Sciences) for their important contribution to the Y-SAV report on Slovakia.

This report arises from the project Y–SAV which has received funding from the European Union in the framework of the Health Programme.


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS A. B. C. D.

Government and policies ....................................................................................... 1 Legal situation ................................................................................................... 3 Institutions, organisations and services...................................................................... 5 Research on prevalence, risk factors and evidence based interventions .............................. 7


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

A. GOVERNMENT AND POLICIES i. Ministries The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport is responsible for youth issues –implementing the national policy- in Slovakia. The Ministry is also responsible for communicating it towards children and youth and delegates this task to the institutions in its direct agency: Iuventa – Slovak Youth Institute, Institute of School Information and Prognosis and National Institute of Education. The Ministry of Education has a special Department of Children and Youth that prepares conceptual and decisive materials in this field, coordinates the activities in planning and implementing the youth policy, elaborate and up-dates long-term plans, provides support to the activities of youth, research in the field and creates conditions for the work of children and youth organisations. There is an advisory board on the highest governmental level: the committee for children and youth, which is part of the Governmental Council for Human Rights, National Minorities and Gender Equality. Other ministries involved in youth matters are Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Ministry of Interior. The ministries coordinate their youth policy through the CrossSectional Steering Committee. A governmental institution of some relevance for youth issues is The Council of the Government for Prevention of Criminality. None of these institutions deals explicitly with youth sexual aggression and victimization. ii. Policies For the work amongst children and young people there are two-year action plans, founded on The Key Fields and Action Plans of State Policy towards Children and Youth for the years 2008-2013. The document is divided into key fields identifying the challenges in each specific sphere of the young person’s life, such as education, employment, housing, participation, information, environment, culture, health and young people with fewer opportunities. The action plans are developed in specific working groups, often consisting of people from different departments and from the organisations in the society (like trade unions, municipalities, youth councils), all administrated by a Cross-Sectional Steering Committee. The key areas and action plans define aims, principles, prioritised areas and other subjects within selected children’s and youth’s areas. Key areas cover the determination of the problems in the specific area and leave the specific tasks of implementation to different actors. The action plans for each area define how this should be done in order to improve the quality of young people’s lives in each area. The plans are validated after each period. So far youth sexual aggression and victimization has not been defined as a key area, but there is a National Action Plan for Children for 2009–2012 that contains a task concerned with the provision of education for pedagogical and non–pedagogical employees aimed to improve their abilities to identify syndrome CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) and children as victims of cruel harassment, abuse, etc. The National Action Plan also implies the preparation of a practical manual for doctors of first contact, social workers, teachers and other relevant professions containing information that is necessary for timely identification of cruel harassment, abuse and neglect of a child as well as practical guidelines telling how to proceed in such situations. There is also a National Action Plan for Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women for 2009–2012. In May 2010 a Report on Youth in Slovakia was presented and 2011 the state strategy to establish more Youth Information Centres will be finalised.

1


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

iii. Current discussion The National Action Plan for Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women for 2009–2012 states that there are serious shortcomings and problems in the area of collecting specific statistical data from individual sectors concerning VAW and therefore the central processing of these data still has not been set up. For more information on current discussion, please read Combatting Youth Sexual Aggression and Victimization in the European Union: Stakeholders Perspectives and Recommendations (to be published in 2013 on the Y-SAV website).1

1

http://ysav.rutgerswpf.org/ 2


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

B. LEGAL SITUATION i. Law and legal definitions The offence of rape is regulated under the Section 199 of the Criminal Act. It reads that a rape is committed by a person who forced a woman to engage in sexual intercourse (coitus) by using violence or threat of immediate violence, or who for such an act abuses a woman’s vulnerable situation. While a perpetrator of the offence of rape can only be a man, a co-perpetrator can also be a woman. According to the case law, the interpretation of the ‘abuse of a vulnerable situation’ is rather broad and covers various situations when a victim is unable to show signs of her resistance, such as state of unconsciousness or faintness caused, for instance, by the use of alcoholic beverages or narcotic substances, physical or mental incapacity of the victim to resist, deep sleep of the victim, etc. The offence of rape may be thus committed even without any violence or threat of violence. Sexual crimes against adults also include the offence of sexual violence (Section 200 of the Criminal Act) and the offence of sexual abuse (Section 201–203 of the Criminal Act). The sexual violence offence is committed by a person who uses violence or threat of violence, forces another person to oral sex, anal sex or other sexual activities, or, who, in order to commit such crime, abuses another person’s vulnerability. A perpetrator of the offence of sexual violence can be both man and woman. Although the law does not contain a legal definition of what exactly are ‘other sexual activities’, according to the case law and jurisprudence this term covers any activities of sexual nature other than coitus, oral sex and anal sex. The legal age of consent is 15 years. Section 202 of the Criminal Act comprises a special category of sexual abuse offence. According to this provision, a sexual abuse offence can also be committed by a person who engages a person under the age of 18 years in extramarital sexual intercourse or who sexually abuses such person by other means provided such person is under his/her supervision or under his custody or if it concerns a dependent person, or he/she does so for reward. Commission of this kind of sexual abuse on a person under the age of 18, who is forced to such action from submission, by pressure or threat, is qualified as aggravated factor. Victims of sexual violence have a status of injured parties in the criminal proceedings. They have basically the same rights and duties as other persons with the same legal status, including the right to legal advice and the right to be represented already at the pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings, right to claim damages, propose evidence, inspect criminal files, etc. (Section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). ii. Official statistics There were 182 rapes reported in Slovakia in 2006, representing 4 reports per 100.000 of the population, which is very low, compared to the average 11 in Europe. In fact it is the lowest rate in EU after Hungary and Greece. The number was higher in 1989, somewhat lower 1999, and somewhat higher in 2007, but seem to remain stable at about the same level. The conviction rate (reports/convictions) was high (2006) at 28%.2 There are no figures available concerning youth sexual aggression and victimization.

2

Lovett, J., Kelly, L., (2009). Different Systems, Similar Outcomes? – Tracking Attrition in Reported Rape Cases Across Europe. CWASU, Daphne II Programme. 3


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

iii. Legal studies There have been some scientific legal studies on domestic violence, but not on sexual violence. It is accepted that crimes of sexual violence such as crimes of domestic violence have a considerable rate of latency. There are a number of reasons why many women do not report the facts at all or with considerable delay concerning a violent act (including rape, sexual violence and abuse) committed against them by their husbands or partners even when the violence is really oppressive or conducted directly against their children. According to the Report on fulfillment of national action plan on prevention and elimination of violence against women for the years 2005-2008, one of the main reasons for such victim behaviour is their economic dependency on the perpetrator. 3 No recent debates or changes with respect to law or sentencing, nor any data on the actual sentences were mentioned.

3

Available at http://sgdatabase.unwomen.org/uploads/Slovak%20Republic%20-%20NAP%202005-2008.pdf

4


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

C. INSTITUTIONS, ORGANISATIONS AND SERVICES i. National level Two national semi-public bodies that are concerned with youth policies are the Foundation Intenda (focusing mainly on education opportunities and search for talents) and the Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology. Another institute is the Slovak Youth Research Society (a sociology-oriented group, ‘product’ of a FP7 project on youth). The only institution of the above mentioned having conducted some activities in the field of youth sexual aggression and victimization is the Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology. However, it was not a consistent programme within this institution, just a series of studies focusing of Y-SAV aspects of internet communication among school children highlighting a high level of sexualisation and incidence of explicit sexual communication than fulfils the legislative conceptualisation of sexual harassment.4 There are Youth Information Centres in many places in Slovakia, all linked together by The association of the Youth Information and Counselling Centres in the Slovak republic (Zipcem), a nonpublic umbrella organisation with the objective to improve and uniform the methodology of the centres. Above, there is a coordinating Youth Council of Slovakia (Rada mládeže Slovenska) focusing mainly on university students. ii. Regional/local level The regions are self-governing in many aspects, e.g. in the field of social support for youth, schools, physical culture, culture and health care. In the health care sector special centres for young drug addicts have been created. In the social-educational sector regional youth centres have been established in some regions (as pilot projects). Their main area of responsibility includes the coordination of all institutions participating in implementing youth policy in the region. The forum for elaborating the implementation of the national plans and policies in the regions is The Regional Commission for the work of Children and Youth, formed by representatives of expert and social institutions in various aspects of youth life (schools, civic organisations, NGOs, representatives of the private sector). In addition there are regional youth councils, non-public umbrella organisations for the youth organisations in the region in order to create platforms for exchange of experiences, methodologies, and to support activities of young people. These institutions do not deal with sexual health and Y-SAV issues. The local administration of municipalities is responsible for schools and services for children and young people and monitors effectiveness of measures related to youth. The Youth Information Centres are municipally based but partly financed by the regions/the state.

4

Trlicová, K., Greggussová, M., (2009). Safer Internet Plus na Slovensku. Prevencia; Greggussová, M., Balázová, M., Tomková, J., Virtuálny priestor a sexualita dospievajúcich (Virtual Space and Sexuality of Adolescents); In: Marková, D. (Ed.). (2010). Sexuality III.: Zborník vedeckých príspevkov. Nitra: UKF. S. 251-262. CD-ROM; Gregussová, M., Tomková, J., Balázová, M. (2011). Vplyv virtuálneho prostredia na utváranie sexuality dospievajúcich (Influence of Virtual Environment on the Development of Sexuality in Adolescents); In D. Heller, P. Michálek (Eds.), Psychologické dni 2010: Cesty psychologie a psychologie cest (291-301). Praha: PEF ČZU a ČMPS. 5


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

Pro Familia Foundation Website Type of organisation

Short description/type of service for young people

Not found. No website could be found, therefore, the information is taken from the WAVE website. It seems to be an NGO whose main function is providing a shelter for victims of abuse. They also work on counselling, crisis support, information, legal assistance, networking, prevention, public awareness/lobbying, and training. They mainly work in the field of male/domestic violence, but also relate to child abuse and sexual abuse. At present youth sexual aggression is not their topic, has plenty of experiences in providing (legal) assistance and consultation to victims of domestic violence during last 20 years or so.

Youth Council of Slovakia (RMS) Website Type of organisation Short description/type of service for young people

www.mladez.sk/ NGO. RMS is umbrella organisation associating more than 42 Slovakian children and youth organisations. The main target of the RMS is to influence state policy in compliance with legal order and to create conditions for the universal, free and democratic development of children and young people and to achieve their legitimate interests. RMS collaborates with state authorities and those active in the field of interests of the RMS. RMS cooperates also actively with partner organisations in abroad, with international governmental and non-governmental organisations. At present youth sexual aggression is not (yet) a problem they are addressing specifically.

6


Country Report Slovakia, 2012

D. RESEARCH ON PREVALENCE, RISK FACTORS AND EVIDENCE BASED INTERVENTIONS There are no quantitative studies regarding Youth Sexual Aggression and Victimization available.

7


Y-SAV Country report Slovakia, 2012