Assembly urges more action against domestic violence

All 27 member states of the European Union and the EU itself, should sign up to a new ‘women’s safety treaty, according to a Parliamentary Assembly specialist and his UN counterpart.

Ten EU countries accepted the Council of Europe Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence when it was opened for signature last month.

Now activists hope the remaining 17 EU states will soon follow suit.

José Mendes Bota, Chair of the assembly’s Equal Opportunities Committee, said: “Violence against women is a human rights violation born out of unequal power relations between women and men. This convention is a crucial landmark on the way towards ensuring equal enjoyment of human rights, and I urge all those European countries which have not yet done so to become parties to it, so that its great potential can be fully exploited.”

Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, said: “Violence against women remains the most pervasive human rights violation that exists. This convention represents the most comprehensive response at the European regional level, paving the way for the protection of, assistance to, and justice for victims of violence against women. It deserves the full support of the European Union and all its member states.

The convention should inform ongoing efforts to develop EU legislation to protect women victims of violence, in particular domestic violence, such as the directive on the protection of the rights of victims of crime. Sexual violence is just one aspect of domestic violence. All the dark corners of domestic violence should be effectively addressed and combated with the same strength, and the victims equally protected.”

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