Beyond the economic impact of sexualized violence and the Christian lobby

Sexualized violence is a dark stain on the face of Czech society, affecting the lives of thousands of women every year. New research presented by proFem and MindBridge Consulting presents alarming data on the economic impact and consequences that ripple through our society.
The research found that more than half of women have experienced some form of sexualized violence, while one in five women have experienced rape.

Although we often discuss the physical consequences such as injuries, research reveals extensive psychological, social and health implications. Victims face heightened sensitivity, lowered self-esteem and even chronic illnesses such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is worrying to note that only 32% of the women who needed medical help actually sought it, which clearly shows the barriers to accessing the necessary services that exist.

National March for Life and Family, 27. 2. 2019, former archbishop D. Duka (photo by Hnutí Pro život ČR, flickr.com)

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Strawmanning & refusing Istanbul Convention

The Senate of the Czech Republic voted narrowly not to ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Only 34 of the 71 senators present voted in favour of ratification, which was not enough to achieve the required majority of 36 votes.

The failure to ratify the Convention is disappointing for victims of domestic violence in the Czech Republic, who will thus lose the tools for their protection that the international document provides. The majority of European countries have already ratified the Istanbul Convention, and the Czech Republic finds itself in a minority of countries that reject it.

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Nightmare instead of therapy – sexual predatory psychiatrist

A case of sexual abuse by one of the biggest personas of the Czech psychiatric community is now seeing its day in court. Dr. Jan Cimický, once a prominent psychiatrist who helped establish the field in the country (and also novelist, poet, translator, playwright and screenwriter), is currently on trial facing charges relating to 39 accounts of sexual assault and misconduct spanning decades.

At the beginning of the trial, the prosecutor read the text of the indictment for one whole hour.

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The (potentially) dangerous Society for the Defence of Freedom of Expression

Three years ago a new organization calling itself the Society for the Defence of Freedom of Expression (Společnost pro obranu svobody projevu) has emerged in the Czech Republic that is claiming to defend free speech, but a closer examination raise red flags about several aspects of this group that it may be more focused on spreading disinformation under the guise of free expression. While protecting civil liberties is certainly laudable, here are some of the problems that skeptics see.

Problematic members
The founding members and advisors of the group have extensive ties to figures known for promoting pro-Russian propaganda and conspiracy theories. The society was founded in 2021 by figures like game developer Daniel Vávra and businessman Vlastimil Veselý. From the start, questions were raised about their true intentions. Vávra has a history of sharing discredited conspiracies and has shared misinformation from pro-Kremlin politician Václav Klaus Jr. in the past, while Veselý’s social media is rife with pro-Kremlin propaganda, COVID denialism, and attacks on democratic leaders and institutions. Advisory board members like Petr Drulák and Jana Zwyrtek Hamplová are well-known for parroting Russian talking points, such as denying war crimes in Bucha. Other advisors like Ivo Budil and Zbyněk Passer have spread conspiracies and supported pro-Russian candidates. Given these backgrounds, it is reasonable to question whether the group’s true aim is defending free speech or more about providing a platform for certain types of disinformation.

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Dental care for anyone! … for anyone with the right political attitudes

Although Prague-based dental clinic‘s homepage features a large sign that reads “We’re here for everyone,” a little further down it states that it does not provide treatment to people with certain political views it disagrees with:

Who we’re not for:
* For supporters of all totalitarian trends, Russian, Chinese, Muslim.
* For the followers of misinformation, manipulation, lies, intimidation and unfreedom.
* For the young Western progressive left, who, blissed out by their long life of freedom, abundance and progress (won for them by their parents and grandparents through endless hard work), are now discovering and promoting unrecognised and uncharted totalitarian ideals and the censorship and ostracisation of people with differing views leading to the destruction of individual freedoms and freedom of speech.
* For supporters of racism. Because only and only “All lives matter”.

As much as we can understand their position and also that medical care providers are free to express their own views – these same healthcare providers have a duty to treat all patients who choose them, regardless of patients’ opinions!

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Statement ot the Atropos Skeptics Society on the activities of Dominik Duka

note: Originally this statement was intended only for the Czech audience, but we believe that Mr Duka is such a public figure that we should publish this statement here as well.

We are deeply concerned about the unceasing efforts of former Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka to influence public and political discourse in our country.

Mr. Duka has long been guilty of numerous excesses in his public appearances and actions, and his statements and attitudes promote intolerance, divide society, and constitute interference by the Church in the affairs of a democratic state.

Mr Duka has repeatedly shown that he clings to dogmas and hierarchies of power instead of the true Christian values of love, compassion and forgiveness. His rigid positions on abortion or homosexuality go against the tide of real moral progress for humanity.

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Cardinal Duka’s sharp turn of mind

Czech and long-time pro-Russian President Miloš Zeman has performed an unexpected and somewhat desperate somersault of opinion, calling his friend Putin a lunatic, hoisting the Ukrainian flag at Prague Castle, and planning to award Ukrainian President Zelensky the Czech Republic’s highest state honour, the Order of the White Lion.
A number of leading Czech officials, including the presidents of both chambers of Parliament, the president of the Constitutional Court, and at least three university rectors, have announced that they will not attend the event of the awarding of state honours because of Zeman’s past warm relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and his frequent attempts to discredit Czech intelligence services warning of Russia’s hostile actions in the country.

Has our “favourite” Cardinal Dominik Duka woken up together with the President?
Let us recall how, at the end of 2018, he responded to the question of whether or not he supported the arrival of fifty orphans – refugees from Syria – to the Czech Republic:
“The Archbishop of Olomouc and the Charity of the Czech Republic are dealing with these matters. (…) I am unable to intervene in this debate on the merits.”
“Yes, generally speaking, we all know that it is necessary to help those in need, but on the other hand, we also know that this is to some extent a political struggle these days. For that reason, I cannot answer.”

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