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Call for European domestic violence law

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March 28, 2024

Senior international politicians have called on the European Union (EU) to approve the introduction of an international domestic violence treaty.

The so-called Istanbul Convention was opened for signature by the Council of Europe (CoE) in the Turkish capital in May 2011. Its full title is the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. If enacted by the EU, this would empower police to remove perpetrators of domestic violence from their homes, and criminalise a wide range of offences such as psychological violence, forced marriage, forced sterilisation and female genital mutilation, even though many of these are already crimes in several EU states.

Member states would also be required to ensure that they have an adequate number of shelters for victims. They would also be obliged to establish national, free-to-access 24/7 helplines for victims.

The CoE is an inter-governmental body with 47 member states. It runs the European Court of Human Rights and exists separately from the EU. While the Council cannot make binding laws, members of the European Commission have called for the Istanbul Convention to be ratified by all EU member states. The Commission is the EU’s executive body responsible for introducing legislation.

So far, 12 EU members have ratified the Convention and 13 more have signed but not yet ratified it.

Věra Jourová is the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. She said that victims of domestic violence “must be better protected across Europe”. As many as “one in three women in the EU has experienced physical or sexual violence, or both”, she claimed, and more than half have experienced sexual harassment. EU ratification of the Convention would represent “a step forward both for our fight against violence and in guaranteeing gender equality”, she insisted.

Read more on the Istanbul Convention here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. The Devil's Advocate! says:

    DV ONLY against women. Come on Marylin what is going on!

  2. Stitchedup says:

    Isn’t there a trial ongoing where a wife stands accused of subjecting her Solicitor husband to sustained domestic violence culminating in his death through a stab to the heart?

  3. Vincent McGovern. says:

    This reminds me so much of the Jim Crow laws which were so widespread throughout the Southern states of the US from 1865 until 1967. Considering what the Office of National Statistics published in February 2012 and Harvard University also on domestic violence, the remarkable gender bigotry demonstrated in the above article makes the hunting and persecution of men a blood sport. I wonder how so many feminist promoters of domestic violence would feel if told by legislators that gender neutral impartial professionalism should be applied to this proposed legislation.

    Ultimately of course the problem is majorly down to men. Modern working class males are not capable of protecting either their children or themselves. Social engineering through the back door with myriad psuedo professionals profiteering both ideologically and financially is further enforced if/when this legislation goes through. Bogus justice and sham legality are nasty bedfellows.

  4. Andrew says:

    And no, police are not to be allowed to “remove” people from their homes unless they arrest them and then bring them quickly before the courts. That is something to be done by the courts after hearing both parties.

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