'Istanbul convention' shows the way for EU response on violence against women

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė says Europe needs an antiviolence against women directive in line with the Istanbul convention.

By Vilija Blinkeviciute

24 Nov 2014

When it comes to combating violence against women, I feel that we have to engage ourselves stronger than ever in a comprehensive approach, which should be twofold. On the one hand we need to make sure all the necessary legal, judicial and physical means for the protection of victims - offering them safety, counselling, support, and assistance during their reintegration to the labour markets - is in place. That is of paramount importance.

A lot has been done both at the European and national levels, but more can and needs to be done if we are to eradicate this widespread and continuous violation of human rights, which even our developed countries so far have not been able to eliminate from our societies. That is why the European parliament will never stop calling on the commission to propose a directive on combating violence against women along the lines of the Istanbul convention. On the other hand, we have to step-up in creating an extensive and multi-fold network of preventative measures, which can be supported by EU funding.

In my view, that should include mandatory psychological consultations for perpetrators, which should start as soon as victims are separated and their safety is ensured. And, most importantly, we have to teach our younger generations about gender equality, to make this principle their own. We must also teach them that violence cannot be tolerated – it has no place in our societies. That is a task for our educational systems, because the future starts today.