Stop Violence Against Women in Europe

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All over the continent – from Russia to Turkey to Norway – women experience psychological, sexual and physical abuse, including being harassed, beaten, raped, and forced into marriage. For millions of women, men and children, domestic violence is a daily reality.

European countries are finally taking a stand. Adopted by the Council of Europe in May 2011, the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence is the first legally binding instrument in the region requiring governments to prevent, stop, and sanction the crime of violence against women.

With the treaty in force, governments would be required to provide financial and human resources to implement comprehensive measures, such as setting up shelters, establishing national helplines, providing counseling services, and monitoring police conduct.

This groundbreaking treaty only takes effect when 10 countries have signed and ratified it. While 18 countries have signed, only Turkey has ratified the Convention.

Stand with women in Europe. Raise your voice by calling on the 47 Council of Europe member and observer states to sign and ratify this far-reaching Convention.

Thank you for joining women’s funds working in Europe* and the International Network of Women’s Funds in taking action today.


To the Member States of Council of Europe:

The scourge of violence against women and domestic violence must be brought to an end.

One in five women living in Europe – 80 million of them – experience violence in various forms: psychological, physical, sexual, and economic. European countries must increase efforts and resources to prevent, stop, and sanction violence against women. They need to provide and ensure access to services such as shelters, national helplines, and rape crisis centers.

The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence is groundbreaking for women in Europe, and we urge you to support its ratification and implementation.

Women in Europe have the right to live a life free of violence.

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*Bulgarian Fund for Women, Calala Fondo de Mujeres, Ecumenical Women’s Initiative, Filia, FRIDA, Heart & Hand Fund, Mama Cash, Mediterranean Women's Fund, Reconstruction Women’s Fund, Rosa, Slovak-Czech Women's Fund, Taso Foundation, Urgent Action Fund, Women Win, Ukrainian Women's Fund, Women's Fund for Scotland, and Women's Fund in Georgia.

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