Women’s NGOs call on the Council of Europe to move towards a strong instrument on Violence against Women (April 2009)


The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and the European Policy Action Centre on Violence against Women (EPAC VAW) welcome the start of the Ad Hoc Committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO).

During the first meeting of the Committee (6-8 April), delegations of the 47 Council of Europe countries discussed the scope and content of the new Convention. As stated in the CAHVIO Synopsis of the meeting report , the EWL and EPAC VAW support that “the convention should be a human rights instrument with an independent monitoring mechanism focusing on violence against women, including domestic violence, and that the core of the convention would thus cover a wide range of forms of violence typically experienced by women”.

The persistence of all forms of violence against women demonstrates society has not been able to protect all citizens. In all European countries, violence against women has devastating long-term effects, not only on women but on their families and society. The home is the most dangerous place for women, many of them live with fear and the numbers of them being killed by their husband/partner or ex-partner are a shocking reality. Rape and sexual assault, exploitation in the sex industry, forced marriages and sexual harassment, are some of the forms of violence against women: they are directed against women because they are women and they affect women disproportionately.

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