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Women Free from Violence: the starting point of prevention is creating awareness

Meeting in Vienna on 4 March 2014, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination and the Parliamentary Network “Women Free from Violence” held an exchange of views with Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, Austrian Federal Minister for Education and Women, who presented the actions of the Austrian authorities to prevent and combat violence against women. “Protection and prevention are the key words (…) The starting point of prevention is creating awareness”. She stressed that “cooperation between NGOs and the police was crucial in establishing and maintaining protection of victims” and encouraged this cooperation to continue and be strengthened.

The Committee and the Network members also held a hearing on “focusing on the victims’ needs” with the participation of Luisella Pavan-Woolfe, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe and Ms Ursula Till-Tentschert, Programme Manager at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). “The EU is working tirelessly to achieve concrete results against all forms of violence against women", stressed Ms Pavan Woolfe, while the FRA representative gave a preview of the results of the FRA survey on violence against women in the EU. "One in three women have suffered physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. 15 million women in the EU have been victims of physical or sexual violence in the last year", said Ms Till-Tentschert.