(Brussels, 25 October) Under the common slogan “Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention!”, a series of public events will take place in 33 countries all over Europe during the sixteen days of activism against violence against women between 25 November and 10 December.
Rape continues to be one of the most devastating forms of gender-based violence, yet it is too often a taboo subject and thus remains shrouded in silence.
Wide mobilisation around Europe will urgently demand justice and support for victims of rape.
The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (also known as the Istanbul convention) is a concrete tool for change to eradicate all forms of male violence against women, including rape.
Regarding sexual violence and rape, the Istanbul Convention obliges the States to adapt criminal legislation and include a definition of rape based on the lack of consent as element of crime and move away from the requirement of use of physical force.
An adequate implementation of the Istanbul Convention will serve to make a vast change towards more effective gender equality. However not all countries have signed the Convention, and from those who have signed only few have ratified.
The Council of Europe and the European Women’s lobby have joined forces in this joint project to promote the Istanbul Convention as a tool for change. Thorough Europe, the signature, ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention will be promoted and specific messages will be tailored to the context in the respective countries.
At EU level an event will be held for the closure of the project on the 10th December in Strasbourg.
Stay tuned for updates and check the EWL Barometer on Rape in Europe in 2013 for more information on the topic!