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Posted by on in Domestic Violence
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Council of Europe calls for action against domestic violence

Representatives from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and the United Nations have called on all 27 member states of the European Union – and the EU itself – to sign up to the ground breaking new Council of Europe Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.


Council of Europe figures suggests that some 20-25% of women in Europe have experienced physical violence at least once during their adult lives. More than 10% have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force, and figures for all forms of violence, including stalking, are as high as 45%.


The convention is the most comprehensive legally-binding international treaty in this area to date. It commits governments to creating a zero tolerance zone through:


  • Prevention (awareness-raising, training professionals in contact with victims and providing treatment programmes for perpetrators).
  • Protection of victims (providing sufficient shelters, free telephone hotlines and specialised support services for victims and their families).
  • Prosecution of offenders (criminalising physical and psychological violence, stalking, sexual violence, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, forced abortion and forced sterilisation).


José Mendes Bota, Chair of PACE’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.”