The European Protection Order key to protect women victims of violence
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the biggest umbrella organization of women’s associations in the EU, is lobbying strongly for an agreement on 4 June to move ahead on the EPO. ‘The European Protection Order is essential to protect victims of violence across the EU, including women victims of male violence, as well as to prevent discrimination and ensure freedom of movement between member states’, says Brigitte Triems, President of the EWL.
Violence against women affects approximately 45% of all women across Europe. An estimated fifth of women in the EU suffer from domestic violence and more than one in ten women is a victim of sexual violence involving the use of force: in the UK, 80 000 women experience rape or attempted rape; in Ireland, one in five women is raped in marriage; in France, one woman is killed every three days by her partner. Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and of female genital mutilation are further examples of the violence women and girls need protection from throughout our countries.
‘The right to protection from violence is the most basic of human rights, and it is the legal and moral duty of all governments to stand up for the physical safety of their peoples, within and beyond national borders’, reads a letter the European Women’s Lobby has sent to all the ministers for Justice and Home Affairs due to attend the Council meeting. ‘The protection of recognised victims from the threat of further – and often life-threatening – violence is even more basic. The fact that this most fundamental of rights is not currently guaranteed within the European Union is deplorable.’