European Parliament resolution on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Article 2 and Article 3(3), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),
– having regard to Articles 21, 23, 24 and 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
– having regard to the provisions of the UN legal instruments in the sphere of human rights, in particular those concerning women’s rights, such as the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the principle of non-refoulement, and the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities,
– having regard to Article 11(1)(d) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the UN General Assembly by Resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979,
_ having regard to its resolution of 25 February 2014 with recommendations to the Commission on combating Violence Against Women,
– having regard to the EU guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them,
– having regard to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ report entitled ‘Violence against women: an EU-wide survey’, published in March 2014,
– having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime,
– having regard to Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims and to Directive 2011/92/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA,
– having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women (O-000121/2016 – B8‑1805/2016 and O-000122/2016 – B8‑1806/2016),
– having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas equality between men and women is a core value of the EU and is enshrined in Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
B. whereas violence against women is still a widespread phenomenon within the EU; whereas the 2014 Fundamental Rights Agency Report and studies on violence against women estimate that one-third of all women in Europe have experienced physical or sexual acts of violence at least once during their adult lives, 20% have experienced online harassment, one in twenty have been raped and more than one in ten have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force;
C. whereas evidence now shows that significant numbers of men are victims of female- perpetrated violence, with statistics across England and Wales showing that in 2016 to date 600 000 male victims have reported domestic abuse to the police and recorded abuse against men accounts for 20% of domestic violence cases in Scotland ;
D. whereas violence against women and men is too often dismissed as a private issue and too easily tolerated; whereas it is in fact a criminal offence that must be punished as such;
E. whereas no single intervention will eliminate violence against women and men, but a combination of infrastructural, legal, judicial, enforcement, cultural, educational, social, health, and other service-related actions can significantly raise awareness and reduce violence and its consequences;
1. Recalls that the Member States are bound by Article 2 TEU and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights to guarantee, protect and promote gender equality;
2. Strongly condemns all forms of violence against women and girls; takes note that violence and abuse disproportionately affect women, but is concerned that incidents of violence against men perpetrated by a spouse or partner are under-reported by male victims and are not given due attention by police and judicial services;
3. Notes that violence against women and men is linked with power and control and that violent behaviour can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, isolation, threats, sexual abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, the manipulative use of children or pets and the abuse of a privileged position;
4. Recognises that the consequences of gender-based violence are devastating: 60% of women cite domestic abuse as one of the main reasons for their homelessness, women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are almost twice as likely to experience depression or to try to commit suicide, and, in the case of pregnant women, domestic violence has a negative impact on maternal and child health;
5. Welcomes the first-of-its-kind study on violence against women conducted by the Fundamental Rights Agency in 2014 and calls on the Agency to carry out a study into the prevalence of violence against men;
6. Recalls that 25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women; is gravely concerned about the extent of violence against women in the EU; notes the huge disparity in the reporting of violent incidents across the EU, with attitudes to gender-based violence being quite different depending on the individual Member State; calls on the Member States to work together to share best practices and exchange effective ways of preventing violence and protecting men and women from gender-based violence;
7. Notes that all 28 Member States have signed the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which highlights the political will among Member States to stop violence against women; acknowledges that 14 Member States have ratified the Convention; stresses that it is the sovereign right of a Member State to ratify and implement the Convention and its provisions;
8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0126.
 OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.
 OJ L 338, 21.12.2011, p. 2.
 OJ L 181, 29.6.2013, p. 4.
 OJ L 101, 15.4.2011, p. 1.
 OJ L 335, 17.12.2011, p. 1.
 Male victims of domestic abuse: implications for health visiting practice, Journal of Research Nursing 2016, Vol. 21 (5-6).
 Official Statistics in Scotland, October 2015.