Violence against women is the most common violation of women’s human rights in Europe, but progress with policy and legal reform to tackle this phenomenon is slow. The Council of Europe is playing a leading role in preventing and combating all forms of violence against women through ground-breaking standards and awareness-raising activities.

Violence against women remains widespread in all member States of the Council of Europe, with devastating consequences for women, societies and economies. Opened for signature in May 2011, the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights.