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European Women’s Lobby launches a video-clip on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The European Women’s Lobby launches a video-clip
“Europe Mobilizes against Rape”

[Brussels, 25 November 2013] Rape continues to be one of the most devastating forms of violence against women, yet it is too often a taboo subject and thus remains shrouded in silence. Research at European level indicates that only between 2% and 10% of rapes are reported. A great majority of sex crimes against women are undisclosed and sexual violence remains underestimated.

To mark the International Day on the Elimination of Violence against women, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is launching a video-clip to speak out and draw attention to the fact that rape needs to be seriously addressed by authorities in terms of access to justice, prevention and support to victims. The video clip is part of the joint EWL-Council of Europe (CoE) project to promote the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention) as a tool for change. The video-clip will be available on Monday 25th here.

The project consists of a series of events and actions aiming at mobilisation across Europe under the common slogan “Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention!”. In more than 30 countries, during the 16 days of activism against violence against women 2013 (25 November-10 December), EWL members and experts will debate with governments to promote the signature, ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention, and to call for justice and support for victims of rape. All the information of the events and the video-clip can be found on the dedicated section of the EWL website.

As the video-clip illustrates, the Istanbul Convention obliges States which have ratified it to improve their legislation (notably moving away from a definition of rape based on the use of physical force towards a definition based on the lack of consent); to improve their data collection systems; to facilitate access to justice for victims; to promote measures for prevention; and to ensure services and support for women victims, including migrant and refugee women.

The recent EWL Barometer on Rape in Europe shows that official data on rape and sexual violence against women is practically inexistent and studies on the prevalence of violence against women are generally very weak on sexual violence. Rape is a crime and a serious violation of women bodily integrity and sexual autonomy”, says Colette De Troy, Director of the EWL Observatory on Violence against Women.

Many aspect of public policies and legislation are completely inadequate with regards to rape in European countries, for example the fact that l, there are little or no services for women victims of rape in most European countries. The ratification and full implementation of the Istanbul Convention by all European countries and by the European Union itself is imperative”, says Cécile Greboval, Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby.

Some facts and figures on rape in Europe:

• In the Czech Republic, one to two rapes per day are officially recorded – it is assumed that rape is reported in only 8% of the cases (and rape occurring in the context of family and partnership is reported only in 3% of cases).

• In Denmark, the Crime Prevention Council in Denmark makes statistics based on data from the rape centres and the police. They estimate that: 2000 rapes are committed in Denmark every year; 500 cases are reported to the police; in 300 cases the charges are brought and in 150 cases there is a conviction.

• In France, official surveys show that 198,000 women between 18-59 years old are victims of actual rape or attempted rape (2005-2006 CVS by INSEE-OND). In this country, 205 women are RAPED every day, only 2% of perpetrators are condemned, only 1 victim out of 10 will report to the police, 74% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows (

• In the Netherlands, a recent study (2012) revealed that 15% of the women aged between 25-70 and 8% of the women aged between 15-24 were raped at least once in their lives.

For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact:

  • Elvira Buijink, EWL Media and Communication Officer -+32 02/210 04 40
  • Irene Rosales, EWL Project Assistant- +32 02/210 04 43
  • Colette De Troy, Director of the EWL Observatory against violence against women – - (+32) 02/210 04 24

Latest video

EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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