Breaking the silence -

United against domestic violence

17-19 June 2009
Tromsø, Norway

The Ministers of Justice of the member states of the Council of Europe met in Tromsø , Norway, on 17-19 June 2009, to discuss the topic "Breaking the silence - United against domestic violence".

Domestic violence is shrouded in secrecy. Its victims rarely reveal the fear, isolation and trauma in which they live. The perpetrators deny it takes place at all. It is as if it does not exist. Domestic violence has long been met with public and political silence. It is barely visible in the legal system and seldom recognised as a serious crime and violation of fundamental human rights.

The scene of domestic violence is behind closed doors. It mostly involves intimate partners and former partners, and also takes place within same sex relationships. The victims of domestic violence are usually, but not exclusively, women. Men can be affected as well as children who are often both witnesses of violence between adults and victims of such violence. The increase in inter-generational violence is also becoming a matter of concern in our societies.

The Ministers of Justice discussed ways to combat domestic violence by identifying the problems and developing and promoting a common approach to breaking the silence, and supporting and empowering the victims. The 29th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Justice opened a forum for exchange of views on these issues and identify areas where further efforts are needed to tackle this problem in Europe.


Signatures or Ratifications of the Treaties

Working Documents


Chamber judgment - Opuz case (09/06/09)

The Council of Europe and the Rule of Law - an overview

Final Activity Report

Position Paper by Mr Robert Bechina (Austria), European Co-ordination Forum for the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 (CAHPAH) 

Ukraine: National campaign 'Stop Violence'