European Parliament Establishes New Rules about Violence Against Women

The European Parliament has enacted EU rules to combat gender-based violence and domestic violence, including stronger cyberviolence laws, improved victim assistance, and rape prevention measures.

European Parliament Establishes New Rules about Violence Against Women
Photo Source: Angel Bena / Pexels / n.d.

28-04-2024

Shyamali Kumar

Women’s Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence.

The European Parliament has adopted the first ever EU rules on combating violence against women and domestic violence, aiming to prevent gender-based violence and protect its victims, particularly women and victims of domestic violence. The directive calls for stronger laws against cyberviolence, better assistance for victims, and steps to prevent rape. The new rules prohibit female genital mutilation and forced marriage, and outline guidelines for offenses committed online, such as the disclosure of private information and cyberflashing.

The legislation will include a longer list of aggravating circumstances for offenses carrying more severe penalties, such as crimes against public figures, journalists, or human rights defenders. The list also includes the intention to punish victims based on their gender, sexual orientation, skin colour, religion, social origin, or political beliefs, and the desire to maintain or restore "honour."

Sexual and reproductive health services should be made available, and member states authorities will have enhanced reporting and evidence gathering obligations. The Commission will report every five years on whether the rules should be revised. The new rules will come into force twenty days after their publication in the EU Official Journal, and member states have three years to implement the provisions. The co-rapporteur from the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Frances Fitzgerald, praised the legislation as a first step towards making Europe the first continent in the world to end violence against women.

 

Sources and further readings:

European Parliament (2024, April 24), “Parliament approves first ever EU rules on combating violence against women”. Retrieved on 26 April, 2024 from Parliament approves first ever EU rules on combating violence against women | News | European Parliament (europa.eu)

The Sofia Globe Staff (2024, April 24), “European Parliament approves first-ever EU rules on combating violence against women”. Retrieved on 26 April, 2024 from https://sofiaglobe.com/2024/04/24/european-parliament-approves-first-ever-eu-rules-on-combating-violence-against-women/

Charlotte Van Campenhout, Reuters (2024, April 24), “EU Parliament Adopts First EU-Wide Rules to Combat Domestic Abuse”. Retrieved on 26 April, 2024 fromhttps://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2024-04-24/eu-parliament-adopts-first-eu-wide-rules-to-combat-domestic-abuse