|Home | First lady | Activities of Silvia Gašparovičová | Year 2005 | First Lady Supports the Project "Keep Our Eyes Open"|
On 19 May 2005, Silvia Gašparovičová took part in the presentation of the Institute for Public Issues Study "Violence Against Women as a Public Policy Issue", held in Reduta in Bratislava. The study is a part of the project Keep Our Eyes Open initiated by the Philip Morris Slovakia company in cooperation with the women‘s association Fenestra. The project includes a special edition of portraits by photographer Ľubomír Špirko dedicated to the subject of domestic violence. The project has been supported by forty celebrities of public, political and cultural society in Slovakia who feel it is time to raise this social issue and to join the forces of governmental, non-governmental and private sectors to make it settled.
On the evening celebration, the First Lady said she did not hesitate for a minute after she had been asked to take part in this project. “I am sure that alike other countries the domestic violence in various forms exists in Slovakia. In our country it is a result of unfavourable economic situation in families and drug abuse, which gives rise to aggressiveness of individuals. Though the problem of domestic violence is being more openly discussed, and legislative and institutional circumstances has been improved, a lot of problems need to be worked out. These concern financing the struggle against domestic violence, providing protection to victims of domestic violence, and preparing experts in this sector. We are still reserved in our views on domestic violence: many of us consider it a private business, rather than a breach of human rights. A complex solution of this problem requires a systematic approach and engagement of relevant institutions. I believe that applying this approach may change the situation in Slovakia,” said Mrs Gašparovičová in the answer to the question if she was aware of domestic violence in Slovakia. She also noted that although the discussion on domestic violence in Slovakia has started only recently, statistics data show that many people are facing domestic violence. To take an active role to counter this phenomenon rather than ignore it is not a question of sole competence of national and public authorities but also a question of personal courage. The First Lady and Chairwoman of the Foundation – Education and Health for All stressed how important is the function of education, training and culture in solving this ussue and expressed her intention to initiate and support the activities focused on this crucial social problem.