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Focusing on the perpetrators to prevent violence against women

Resolution 2027 (2014)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 18 November 2014 (see Doc. 13634, report of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, rapporteur: Ms Athina Kyriakidou).
1 Violence against women is a problem from which no Council of Europe member State is immune. Despite the increasing attention paid to this issue, the adoption of legal instruments on the protection of victims and the growing number of assistance programmes, the number of individuals who become victims of domestic, physical, sexual or psychological violence remains very high.
2 Violence against women has its roots in inequality between women and men and is perpetuated by a culture of tolerance and denial. It is important to combat gender-based discrimination in order to bring about greater equality between women and men, a necessary condition for the success of efforts to combat violence against women and domestic violence.
3 It is also essential to emphasise prevention and the direct involvement of men, without which there can be no lasting change. The establishment of specific programmes for perpetrators of violence is having a fairly positive impact as far as victim safety and the prevention of reoffending are concerned. However, these programmes should not be set up at the expense of assistance and support programmes for victims of violence.
4 The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210, Istanbul Convention) stresses in Article 16 the importance of specific programmes for perpetrators of violence and lays down the obligation for authorities to support and to set up measures and treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence and for sex offenders designed to help them change their attitudes, adopt non-violent behaviour and to prevent them from reoffending.
5 In this respect, the Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by 14 member States and hopes they will be followed by others as soon as possible. It also welcomes the setting up of programmes for perpetrators of violence in 38 member States. The Assembly stresses the importance of accessibility to these programmes throughout the territory of a State.
6 In the light of these considerations, the Assembly calls on member States to:
6.1 design and set up, with appropriate financial resources, preventive intervention and treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence and for sex offenders throughout their territory, in close co-operation with support services for victims of violence, health and social services and law-enforcement and judicial authorities, if they have not yet done so;
6.2 ensure that the programmes that are set up emphasise the responsibility of the perpetrators of violence, stress the impact of their actions on their partner and child/children, make them recognise that violence against women is unacceptable and provide long-term support for perpetrators as well as follow-up for at least two years in order to minimise the risk of their reoffending;
6.3 put the safety of victims and respect for their human rights at the centre of programmes for perpetrators of violence;
6.4 provide training programmes for those in charge of programmes to treat perpetrators of violence, in accordance with internationally recognised good practices;
6.5 share and use best practices regarding programmes for perpetrators of violence, whether they are on a voluntary basis or mandated by a court;
6.6 carry out regular assessments of the effectiveness of preventive intervention and treatment programmes for perpetrators of violence.
7 The Assembly calls on the parliaments of member States to:
7.1 engage without delay in the process of signature and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, if they have not yet done so, and to ensure its implementation;
7.2 make preventive intervention and treatment programmes for perpetrators of violence better known by organising awareness-raising events;
7.3 call for the devising and setting up of programmes for perpetrators of violence where they do not yet exist.
8 Finally, the Assembly calls on non-governmental organisations active in this sector to:
8.1 promote and encourage the setting up of preventive intervention and treatment programmes for perpetrators of violence;
8.2 continue their work on promoting the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention;
8.3 step up their activities and campaigns aimed specifically at perpetrators of violence in order to raise awareness of the need to combat violence against women;
8.4 stress the importance of the role of men in combating violence against women and domestic violence and to encourage their participation in awareness-raising activities.
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