Social Policy and Family Minister on Domestic Violence Case: “That’s Marriage”

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A scandalous statement by Minister Nada Murganić causes an uproar. She claims she was misunderstood.

Mara Tomašević, the wife of Požega-Slavonia County Prefect Alojz Tomašević, who has accused him of domestic violence which led to calls for him to resign and be expelled from HDZ, decided to withdraw her charges against her husband which she had filed with the court today. However, even more surprising was a comment about her decision which was given by Ministry of Demography, Family and Social Policy Nada Murganić, reports on January 11, 2018.

After today’s session of the government, the journalists asked the Minister if she found it strange that Mara Tomašević had withdrawn her accusations. Minister Murganić said that it was not up to her to decide whether it was weird, but that “they should have resolved this earlier, within their family relationships.”

“That’s marriage. In these marital, personal and family relationships, there are dynamics which I cannot comment on. The woman probably has her reasons. That is family; I really would not discuss that,” Murganić told reporters.

Tomašević has been charged with, from October 2015 until October 2017, repeatedly humiliating his wife, threatening her, grabbing her by the neck and slapping her with his hands.

Although HDZ president and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković had asked Tomašević to resign, he has refused, announcing instead that he would temporarily leave HDZ until the end of the legal proceedings. HDZ responded by expelling Tomašević from the party.

Reacting to Murganić’s statement, the Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb said that the statement was scandalous and unacceptable. Neva Tolle, the president of the Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb, said that, with such statement, the Minister sent a message to women who are victims of domestic violence to be silent and not to report abuse, which could lead to an increased number of attacks against women. “The Minister has forgotten that violence against women in our country is a widespread social problem and not a private problem for individual women,” said Tolle.

Opposition parties also condemned the Minister’s statement and said they would launch the proceedings for her dismissal from the government after the Parliament returns from the winter break next week.

The Minister later tried to clarify her statement, saying she was misunderstood and misquoted.

Despite Mara Tomašević’s decision to withdraw her charges, the legal proceedings against Alojz Tomašević will continue since domestic violence is a crime which is automatically prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office.


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