Poland Signs Convention On Preventing Violence Against Women
On the 18th of December, 2012 Poland has signed onto the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women.
Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz signed the document in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
“Now we are going to prepare for the ratification of the convention,” said Ms Kozłowska-Rajewicz after signing the document. She also added that the estimated time of legislative work would take two years. It is a first step towards ratification of the convention, however the government representative says that it may already cause changes in people's thinking about domestic violence.
European Institute for Gender Equality reports that domestic violence against women remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations. In the EU, 9 out of 10 victims of “intimate partner violence” are women.
The convention obliges governments to take measures to protect and prevent violence against women to the extent that the police are granted the power to remove a perpetrator of domestic violence from his or her home. The state should ensure access to adequate information, estabilish easily accessible shelters in sufficient numbers for victims of rape and other types of violence, and make available country-wide 24/7 telephone helplines free of charge.
The state should also train professionals who are aiding and treating the victims, and set up a treatment programs for perpetrators of domestic violence and for sex offenders.
The convention was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on April 7, 2011. It will enter into force following 10 ratifications. Although 25 countries signed the convention, only Turkey has ratified it so far.