- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Interior Minister Disapproves of Czech Police President’s Remarks on Sexual Violence Reports
Prague, Czech Republic – August 9, 2023
Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan has labeled recent remarks made by Czech Police President Martin Vondrasek regarding fabricated reports of sexual violence as “unfortunate.” Speaking to Radio Impuls, Rakusan expressed his disapproval of Vondrasek’s comments, which raised concerns about the treatment of victims reporting sexual crimes.
Rakusan disclosed that he had engaged in a phone conversation with Vondrasek following the controversial statement and that they were set to meet on Thursday to address the issue. The Interior Minister emphasized that the Czech police have been working on improving their approach towards victims of sexual crimes.
Rakusan underscored that Vondrasek, as police president, actively advocates for police officer education across all levels. He asserted that Vondrasek does not hold the belief that victims of domestic violence or sexual violence should refrain from reporting incidents. Rakusan urged all victims of violence to report such incidents to the police.
In a recent statement that sparked controversy, Vondrasek mentioned that reports of sexual violence were often fabricated. He stated, “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.”
Vondrasek’s remarks drew substantial criticism, prompting discussions about the prevalence of false accusations in such cases. Lawyer Daniel Barton argued that, in his view, at most 12% of reported rapes were fabricated, comparable to the frequency of false accusations in other crime categories.
Michaela Studena, from “Pod svicnem,” a group dedicated to combating domestic violence, condemned Vondrasek’s comments. She stated that his words essentially disregarded the experiences of victims of sexual violence who often face secondary victimization within police offices.
Statistics from Amnesty International indicate that around 12,000 rapes are committed in the Czech Republic annually, but only about 5% of these cases are reported to the police. The police recorded 880 cases of rape last year.
Responding to the backlash, Vondrasek released a statement expressing regret for his remark about fabricated reports occurring “very often.” He clarified that while the possibility of false reports must be considered in police investigations, he acknowledged the need to avoid victimizing those reporting crimes.
Article by Prague Forum