Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the European Commission and the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, issued the following statement:
“Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights, and has no place in the European Union, or anywhere else in the world.
The scale of the problem remains alarming: one in three women in the European Union have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Violence against women exists in every country, culture and community. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown once more that for some women not even their home is a safe place.
Figures show that violence against women and children has increased since COVID-19 lockdown measures started. Some Member States have introduced gender-sensitive response measures, such as special alert mechanisms in pharmacies, to protect women and children from all forms of violence. We urge all Member States to develop and implement such measures.
Change is possible, but it requires action, commitment and determination. The EU is committed to continue to work tirelessly with its partners to investigate and punish acts of violence, ensure support for victims, and at the same time to address the root causes and reinforce the legal framework. Through our Spotlight Initiative we are already fighting violence against women and girls, in 26 countries across the globe. This week we will present a new Action Plan on gender equality and women and girl’s empowerment in our external actions. We also call on Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention – the first legally binding instrument at the international level to combat violence against women and domestic violence.
“Our goal is very clear: to end all forms of violence against women and girls. We owe it to all the victims.”