On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the European Commission and the High Representative/Vice President, Josep Borrell, issued the following statement:
“Violence against women and girls is a pervasive human rights violation.
In Europe, one woman in three aged 15 or above reported having experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence. One in 10 women reported having been victim to some form of sexual violence, and one in 20 had been raped. Just over one in five women have suffered physical and/or sexual violence from either a current or previous partner, whilst 43% of women have experienced some form of psychologically abusive and/or controlling behaviour when in a relationship.
Domestic violence had been a ‘shadow pandemic' already before COVID-19 broke out. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of domestic violence have increased, bringing to the attention of all that for many women and girls home is not a safe place. The scale of the problem remains alarming. A vision for a Europe where women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversity, are free from violence and stereotypes and have the opportunity to thrive and to lead – this is the basis of the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.
Gender-based cyber violence is spreading fast. A relatively new phenomenon is experienced by all women, though women visible in public life, such as journalists and politicians, experience gender-based cyber violence disproportionately often, which can affect democratic decision-making: they do not dare express political opinions due to fear of online targeting.
[...] We will continue with the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative which has helped 650,000 women and girls worldwide and protected them or prevented violence against them, educated 880,000 men and boys on positive masculinity, non-violent conflict resolution and parenting, and contributed to the signature or strengthening of 84 national laws and policies to fight gender-based violence.
We are stepping up our action and call to others for continued commitment and collaboration.
Let's make Europe and the rest of the world safe for all women and girls.”
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