Singer Axelle Red highlights role of men in fighting domestic violence
Brussels, 4 March 2008
“The majority of perpetrators of domestic violence are men, and since it
is largely men who still hold positions of power in society, they have
an important role to play in combating this crime,” said Belgian singer
Axelle Red, introducing a Brussels lunch-debate yesterday on the role of
men in fighting domestic violence.
Speaking at the event, organised by
Madariaga European Foundation on the eve of International Women’s Day,
the singer also denounced the sexist culture of some male rap artists
who glorify violence against women. They provided a shameful role model
for young men on how to treat women, she said. A UNICEF Goodwill
Ambassador involved in promoting women’s rights, Axelle Red is currently
working on an album, her first entirely in English, with the working
title of “empathy” – the quality she said was lacking most in situations
which lead to violence.
Echoing her remarks, PACE member Kent Olsson (Sweden, EPP/CD) pointed
out that “men can sometimes change other mens’ minds better than women
can”. He described the work of a 40-strong network of male MPs in the
Swedish Parliament who have come together to combat domestic violence –
believed to be the first such group.
PACE member Nursuna Memecan (Turkey, ALDE) also spoke of a major
initiative in Turkey to train male police officers, soldiers, health
professionals and religious leaders in combating violence against women.
Up to 40,000 policemen will receive the training eventually, which
focuses on how to treat victims as well as clarifying the law.
The meeting was also addressed by MEP Raul Romeva I Rueda of the
Committee on Women’s Rights in the European Parliament.
The Council of Europe is approaching the end of a two-year campaign to
combat domestic violence against women.