EP approves first EU rules to combat violence against women | Actual

EP approves first EU rules to combat violence against women | Actual
EP approves first EU rules to combat violence against women | Actual
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With 522 votes in favour, 27 against and 72 abstentions, Parliament on Wednesday adopted for the first time EU rules to help combat violence against women and domestic violence. The rules call for tougher laws against cyberbullying, better help for victims and measures to prevent rape.

The new rules ban female genital mutilation and forced marriage. It also sets out specific recommendations for offenses committed online, such as the disclosure of private information and the sending of obscene images, or ‘cyber-promising’.

The new rules provide for more aggravating circumstances, which will allow for heavier penalties, for example, for crimes against public figures, journalists or human rights defenders. The list also includes as a punishable offense the intention to “discipline” the victim because of his gender, sexual orientation, skin color, religion, social origin or political belief, or in order to maintain or regain “dignity”.

Access to sexual and reproductive health services must be ensured

The safety and well-being of victims must be prioritized, including access to shelters. Ensure that health care is available, including sexual and reproductive health services. Member State authorities will be obliged to report and collect evidence. They will also need to educate the public that non-consensual sex is a criminal offence.

Parliament has insisted that the Commission report every five years whether these rules need to be revised.

Quotes

The rapporteur for the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Frances Fitzgerald (EPP, Ireland), said: “Today Parliament has taken the first steps towards making Europe the first continent in the world to end violence against women. This is a wide-ranging piece of legislation that will prevent violence against women, protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice, providing a comprehensive approach to combating these heinous crimes. There will be no equality until violence against women is eradicated; we must ensure an end to impunity for such crimes.”

The rapporteur for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Évin Insir (S&D, Sweden), said: “This ground-breaking directive embodies our unwavering commitment to strengthening women’s rights and saving lives. In the future, we will remember this moment as the first historic step in strengthening women’s rights and lighting the way to a future where every woman can live without fear and oppression. This is a victory for justice and equality throughout the European Union.”

Next steps

The new rules will enter into force within 20 days of their publication In the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States will then have three years to implement these rules.

The article is in Latvian

Tags: approves rules combat violence women Actual

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