On 6 December 2012 the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted Conclusions on “Combating violence against women, and the provision of support services for victims of domestic violence” (.pdf) , prepared by the Cyprus Presidency on the basis of EIGE's report “Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States: Violence against Women Victim Support”.
EPSCO calls on the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Member States to improve support services for victims of violence
The adopted conclusions highlight that domestic violence is a form of gender-based violence and a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women. The conclusions reaffirm that neither custom, tradition, culture, privacy nor religion can be invoked to justify violence against women or to avoid the obligations of the Member States with respect to its prevention and elimination and the prosecution of perpetrators.
The Council of the European Union calls on the European Commission and the Member States to develop a European Strategy for preventing and combating all forms of violence against women in accordance with the Council Conclusions on the Eradication of Violence Against Women in the European Union adopted in 2010. It also calls on the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Member States to sign, ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, without prejudice to the possible future negotiations on possible EU accession.
Taking note of EIGE’s report “Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States: Violence against Women Victim Support”, the Council calls to ensure that support services for victims of violence are in adequate supply and apply gender equality perspective in particular with a view to protecting and empowering women and that such services are tailored to their specific immediate and long-term needs and safety. The Council calls also to improve the collection and dissemination of comparable, reliable and regularly updated data on victims and perpetrators of all forms of violence against women at both national and the EU level and to make full use of the work of EIGE.
EIGE’s report gives data for evidence-based policy improvement
EIGE’s report aims to support policy makers and all relevant institutions in their efforts to combat and prevent violence against women, by providing them with reliable and comparable data and information for effective actions and evidence-based policy improvement. “Our research shows – says Virginija Langbakk, Director of EIGE – that current support services do not meet the needs of women victims of violence. The specialised services are insufficient and unequally distributed in certain countries and the funding for them is inconsistent. To combat domestic violence effectively, we need to fight attitudes of complacency and acceptance of this phenomenon and encourage the establishment of proper support systems which can ensure the victims of violence and their children dignified lives.”
EIGE’s report is the first one to deliver a full set of comparable and reliable data on support services for women victims of violence in the 27 EU Member States and Croatia. It presents an in-depth overview of the range and quality of services to which women victims of violence have access: emergency services, 24-hours helplines, legal advice and other services.
The report was developed in cooperation with the Cyprus Government, the European Commission and the High Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming.
- EIGE’s work in the area of gender-based violence
- Combating violence against women, and the provision of support services for victims of domestic violence (.pdf), EPSCO conclusions
- Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States: Violence against Women Victim Support report
- Fact sheet: Support for women victims of intimate partner violence
- Interview with Sylvia Walby on EIGE’s report on victim support