This summer the European Union joined the Istanbul Convention - the members of the European Union debated about its implementation and monitoring on Monday afternoon in Strasbourg. In his speech Csaba Sógor MEP from RMDSZ stated that emphasis should be put not only on the fight against violence but on prevention and raising awareness too, because violence against women is not a private matter.
According to the report presented in the European Parliament, a third of the women from the European Union experienced physical violence at least once in their adult life. This statistic does not necessarily reflect the reality, because it is based only on the cases reported by victims, and their number is likely much smaller compared to the real number of violence, because of the victims’ fear or economic dependence from their agressor.
„If I think only about my daughter, I can’t turn my head. Violence against women is not a private matter, because it means a serious and systematic violation of the basic human rights and dignity of women. It is crime which should be punished, knowing that the equality of rights between citizens is a principle of the Union. This is why is the Union’s accession to the Istanbul Convention is welcome, even so all the State Member signed it, but only 14 of them ratified it”, Csaba Sógor said.
The report shows that violence against women costs the European society EUR 226 billion every year, but more support is needed. „Great emphasis should be put not only on the fight against violence but on prevention and raising awareness too, and the media has a key role in that. The Union should provide financial support to ensure that these interfaces, in collaboration with the NGO’s have an active role in implementing information and educational campaigns” - he pointed out.
The Women’s Organization of the RMDSZ started a campaign on 8 March in Romania called NEEEM (Movement Against Violence Against Women), which revealed there is a need of change in many areas. The MEP stated that the Member States have to provide enough and adequate institutions for the women who feel threatened or became victims of violence. He emphasized that free legal advice is needed, because in its absence the abused often are afraid that they cannot act properly without the knowledge of their rights and possibilities. „It is also a common situation when the victim doesn’t report domestic violence in fear of retaliation or economic dependence. In order to make the measures to combat violence against women more efficient, they should be accompanied by actions to support the economic independence of women”, the MEP believes.