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Violence against Women: the battle is only just beginning

By Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

When talking about violence against women it is often said that such an issue mainly concerns the developing countries. This is patently false. In fact, violence against women is still very common in Europe. This is so true that the European leaders announced a few months ago that 2017 would be the year of action on violence against women. Of course, this combat includes domestic violence. To mention one example, among these countries with long- established cultures and values, France is faced with similar issues. The French Minister of interior has just stated that 123 women died as a result of violence perpetrated against them by their husband, boyfriend or partner during the year 2016. And these are official statistics which of course do not take account of the large number of female victims of domestic violence who do not wish to make a complaint. It can be estimated that a majority of women do not report the violence they have suffered. Let us just look at a few dramatic figures (FRA surveys): In Europe, 50 women die every week from male domestic violence - 95% of all acts of violence taking place within the home are against women - One in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 - 60% of homeless women cite domestic violence as one of the causes of their homelessness. Accordingly, there is an urgent need to get serious about gender-based violence. Combating this issue must be an international priority. Today, domestic violence, sexual harassment and forced marriages are still tragic realities. Therefore, delaying action in this regard is just not acceptable!

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