Romanian TV personality Daniela Crudu was physically assaulted by her boyfriend last weekend. She suffered a broken nose, a sprained ankle and other injuries that required hospital treatment. Doctors say she will need surgery.
Crudu, 30, didn’t press charges against her partner saying she feared he would become even more violent. In the meantime, a court has granted her a restraining order.
Yet, there has been little support for Crudu, a household name who was one of 30 presenters and models quizzed by police in 2015 in connection with a call girl ring linked to well-known businessmen.
Many have said she deserved it, and worse. “You deserve to die” said one commentator on Facebook. Another said: “You got a Valentine’s Day present early.”
Some have laughed at her misfortune, others have disparaged her career and looks. She was called a coward for not reporting the attack to police.
The case has shone a spotlight on widespread physical violence against women in Romania, a lack of effective protection from authorities, and tolerance, if not approval of violence against women.
A study carried out by INSCOP Research from 2010 to 2011 showed that every 30 seconds, a woman is beaten in Romania. Some 3,000 women are assaulted every day. Just 100 of those report the abuse to authorities.
Earlier this month, a woman was fatally stabbed by her husband in a village near Bucharest, although she had obtained a restraining order against him.
The woman identified as Irina was one of 8,000 women who was granted a restraining order in 2019. This year, courts have issued 640 restraining orders, of which 242 have already been violated, despite a draft law that proposes monitoring aggressors by a tracking device, Pro-TV reported.
The study showed that from 2010-2012, there were 65,000 cases of domestic violence which led to the deaths of 800 women.
The study also revealed that there is widespread tolerance of domestic violence.
One in three Romanians believes that women invited the violence, 8% say that a beating “comes from Heaven,” and 6.4% thinks that a man who doesn’t hit a woman doesn’t really love her. And then there are 7.3% who think that a woman is a man’s property.
Two-thirds of women who are victims of violence have been physically abused by their own husbands, the study found.
But there has been some public support for Crudu and condemnation of violence against women.
Oana Baluta, a women’s rights activist and professor at Bucharest University, said: “The public comments reveal the ugly and grotesque face of misogyny and a patriarchal society where violence against women is justified,” she wrote on Facebook.
“We can go even further. It’s a way to discipline the undesirable behavior of this woman.”
Baluta said that a Eurobarometer 2016 study showed Romanian society to be tolerant of rape, with 55% saying rape was acceptable in certain situations, such as when the perpetrator had drunk alcohol or taken drugs, while one-quarter said it was acceptable when “the victims wore sexy or provocative clothing.”
In comparison, Sweden is on the other end of the scale, with just 2% saying rape is acceptable in certain situations, the public opinion survey commissioned by the European Commission found..
Baluta concluded: “To substantially change these types of perceptions and beliefs, you need education to develop respect for girls and women and to teach children how to resolve conflicts peacefully.”