Legal and policy framework

Risk assessment and risk management of intimate partner violence have been integrated into the EU legislative and policy framework on violence against women, making explicit the links between risk assessment and consequent actions to support and protect victims.

In the EU, the Victims’ Rights Directive (Directive 2012/29/EU) (34) is the main instrument establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. It includes many provisions directly or indirectly referring to victims of gender-based violence, who include victims of intimate partner violence (35). The core objective of the Victims’ Rights Directive is to ‘deal with victim’s needs’ in an individual manner, based on an individual assessment and a targeted and participatory approach towards the provision of information, support, protection and procedural rights’ (36).

EU Directive 2011/99/EU on the European protection order (37) and Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters (38) oblige EU Member States to recognise protection orders issued in other Member States, thereby enabling cross-border enforcement of such orders across the EU.

In addition to this, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (39) (the Istanbul Convention), the first international instrument on preventing and combating violence against women and girls at the international level, specifically addresses risk assessment and risk management as a strategy for the prevention of violence against women (Article 51). The Istanbul Convention is also the first international treaty to include a specific obligation to protect against violence through protection orders (Articles 52 and 53) (40).