Police President Criticised For Comments About Victims of Sexual Assault
Interior Minister Vit Rakusan said the police have improved their attitude towards victims of sexual crimes. Credit: Freepik.
Prague, Aug 9 (CTK) – Recent comments by Czech Police President Martin Vondrasek that reports of sexual violence are often fabricated were “unfortunate”, Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN) told Radio Impuls yesterday.
Rakusan said he had talked with Vondrasek about the statement by phone and they would meet on Thursday.
The police have improved their attitude towards victims of sexual crimes, he added.
Rakusan said Vondrasek as police president promotes the education of police officers at all levels. “Martin Vondrasek is not a man who would think that victims of domestic violence should not report anything,” Rakusan said, adding that anyone who is a victim of any type of violence should report it to the police.
“Very often, really very often, the report of a woman about some sexual violence is made up. Very often. It is rather often also the investigation version, we must check whether the woman is telling us the truth. It happened at least twice to me, that it was not true,” Vondrasek told Aktualne.cz.
“A criminal police officer really must take into account several versions. However, they must be emphatic enough and do their utmost so that there is no secondary victimisation of the victim,” Vondrasek said.
Vondrasek’s comments were met with heavy criticism.
Lawyer Daniel Barton told Aktualne.cz that, in his view, at most 12% of reported rapes were fabricated. False accusations of sexual crimes are as frequent as false accusations of other crimes, he said.
Michaela Studena from Pod svicnem, a group that focuses on fighting domestic violence, said Vondrasek was in fact spitting in the face of all victims of sexual violence that were secondarily victimised in police offices.
According to Amnesty International, roughly 12,000 rapes are committed in the Czech Republic a year, but only about 5% of these cases are reported to the police. The police registered 880 cases of rape last year.
In a statement released today, Vondrasek said it was unfortunate that he had said that fabricated reports occurred “very often”, but added that the possibility that the report is not true must be taken into account in the police investigation.