Rights group says Hungary needs better system to protect women from domestic violence

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A human rights group says that, despite some recent changes, domestic violence victims are still at risk in Hungary because of legal loopholes, ineffective police responses and cultural stereotypes.

A report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch calls on the government to implement a national plan to stop domestic violence.

The report includes testimony from women abused by their partners.

Hungary toughened its laws on domestic violence earlier this year, but the rights group says there still are "systematic problems." It says restraining orders, for instance, often take too long to issue.

In comments to state media, Gabriella Selmeczi, a spokeswoman for the governing Fidesz party, calls the report an "artificially generated" attempt to pressure Hungary.

The National Police, meanwhile, have issued a statement refuting many of its findings.