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The Istanbul Convention, a milestone for the protection of women from violence

“Good things come to those who wait. The Istanbul Convention, which will enter into force on 1 August, is the most comprehensive instrument aiming at protecting women from violence,” said Gisela Wurm (Austria, SOC), Chairperson of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination and Network member for Austria, in a joint press conference on 28 July in Vienna with Rosa Logar, from the Domestic Abuse Intervention Center and Maria Rösslhumer from the Association of Autonomous Women’s Shelters.

“However, we cannot stop with what we have achieved. We have a network of international parliamentarians at the Council of Europe who exchange best practices and experiences in combating violence, especially in times of austerity”, Ms Wurm stressed.

“Austria is a model country in terms of creation of women shelters and accompaniment process, Rosa Logar also highlighted. “There are still 6 000 children and young people directly and indirectly affected by violence with only five percent receiving counseling and support”.

The ‘milestone Istanbul Convention’ was also welcomed by Ms Rösslhumer. “Nonetheless, there is still some work to be done in Austria. In some cases, funding for women’s shelters is not secured in the long term; particularly in rural areas, shelter places are missing,” she said. Ms Rösslhumer also promoted the current campaign in Austria ‘Living without violence’, aimed at making a women’s helpline better known.