Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

Domestic violence against women is a rising phenomenon that knows no geographical boundary, age limit or colour bar, and affects every type of family relationship and social class. Statistics show that 12% to 15% of women in Europe face violence in the home every day. It is one of the most widespread violations of human rights worldwide, and must be combated.

Since the 1990s, the Council of Europe has actively promoted the protection of women and girls from gender-based violence, namely by adopting Recommendation (2002) 5 on the protection of women against violence and by running a Europe-wide campaign on violence against women, including domestic violence in 2006-2008.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights. It aims at zero tolerance for such violence and is a major step forward in making Europe and beyond a safer place.

Preventing violence, protecting its victims and prosecuting the perpetrators are the cornerstones of the convention. It also seeks to change the hearts and minds of individuals by calling on all members of society, in particular men and boys, to change attitudes. In essence, it is a renewed call for greater equality between women and men, because violence against women is deeply rooted in the inequality between women and men in society and is perpetuated by a culture of tolerance and denial.

2017 Edition 2017 Edition
Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) Strasbourg 24 November 2017
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Albania and Denmark: Policies on violence against women and domestic violence assessed in new reports

On the eve of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) publish their first-ever evaluation reports on Albania and Denmark.

For Albania, GREVIO welcomes a solid legislative framework and policies that generally acknowledge the gender-based nature of violence against women. But the experts also criticise the public perception that violence against women is mostly confined to poverty-stricken parts of the country, with poorly educated women its only victims. This erroneously implies that other women are spared, according to the report.

In its report on Denmark, meanwhile, GREVIO praises the country's long track record in addressing violence against women, but points out that child custody decisions in cases of domestic violence require proper risk assessment. GREVIO reports not only stalking and repeated violence against women by abusive former male partners as a result of shared custody and visitation rights, but also proven cases of children being sent back to abusive fathers resulting in preventable violence.

Interview Interview
 

Johanna Nelles, from the Council of Europe, explains what the Convention is and how it works.

Video Video