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Recent attacks against women in European cities – the need for a comprehensive response

Doc. 13961: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13961 | 27/01/2016 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly condemns unreservedly all forms of violence against women. Recent attacks against women in several European cities have highlighted the urgent need to protect women from sexual violence. Their simultaneous occurrence, their scale, the late reporting by the media and the slow response of the authorities are of great concern.
2Violence against women finds its origin in a profound inequality between women and men and will not be brought to an end unless there is a change of mindsets. In Europe, one woman in three is a victim of gender-based violence, most of the time behind closed doors, but harassment in the street is also common. Violence within crowds represents another dimension of violence against women.
3According to witness accounts, the majority of perpetrators of the recent attacks were allegedly of foreign origin. These attacks triggered debates on reception policies and integration in Europe. The Assembly stresses that violence against women is one of the most pervasive and widespread human rights violations and should not be instrumentalised for other purposes.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 3, in the third sentence, after the words "against women is", insert the word "unfortunately".

In the French version only, in the draft resolution, paragraph 3, in the third sentence, replace the words "de l'homme" with the word "humains".

Explanatory note

This amendment is a correction to the French version of the draft resolution, as it is preferable to refer to human rights ("droits humains") as opposed to the rights of man ("droits de l'homme"), since they are rights not just of men but of women too.

In the French version only, in the draft resolution, paragraph 3, in the third sentence, replace the words "et qu'elle ne devrait pas être instrumentalisée à d'autre fins" with the following words: ". Cette violence ne devrait pas être instrumentalisée à d'autre fins."

Explanatory note

Drafting correction to the French version only

4There can be no impunity for violence and perpetrators of any form of violence against women must be brought to justice. The Assembly recalls that the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CETS No. 210) is a major milestone for the protection of women and calls for its full implementation.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 4, insert the following paragraph:

"Violence against women is a manifestation of unequal power relations between women and men. Therefore men play an important role in preventing and combating this phenomenon."

5The media also hold an important responsibility to report objectively and truthfully on facts, without stigmatising a part of the population. They should not, in order to ensure political correctness, hide the truth from the general public. Partial, late or biased reporting on crimes can feed conspiracy theories, fuel hatred against a part of the population and contribute to mistrust in the authorities and the media.
6These attacks against women call for a comprehensive response, since they require an official investigation into the facts and into the reasons for delaying official reporting to the public, as well as specific actions to protect women from violence.
7In the light of these considerations, the Assembly calls on Council of Europe member States to:
7.1engage in awareness-raising activities and launch information campaigns on the need to prevent and combat violence against women and on gender equality;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7.1, after the words "awareness raising activities" insert the following words: ", with the active participation of men,".

7.2sign and ratify, if they have not already done so, and fully implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence;
7.3protect women’s right to physical integrity and the right not to be harassed in the public space and private sphere;
7.4ensure, by prosecuting perpetrators, there will be no impunity for violence against women;
7.5take measures to encourage women to report violence to the police and train officers on how best to assist women victims of violence;
7.6allocate sufficient financial resources to organisations providing assistance to victims of violence;
7.7engage in a dialogue with the media about their responsibility to ensure timely and objective reporting on events, including crimes, and to combat hate speech;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 7.7, insert the following paragraph:

"recognise the important role of education in preventing violence against women. A non-violent environment, free from gender discrimination among children, plays a vital role in fostering appropriate attitudes from an early age."

8The Assembly calls on the relevant authorities to conduct an investigation into the attacks against women and to publish its results.
9The Assembly urges parliamentarians to condemn all forms of violence against women, including harassment and sexism, as well as hate speech, and to contribute actively to awareness-raising efforts.

In the draft resolution, change the title to "Recent attacks against women: the need for honest reporting and a comprehensive response".