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Focusing on the perpetrators to prevent violence against women

Preventive intervention and treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence and for sex offenders can help to protect victims and bring lasting changes in behaviour. The main aim is to prompt perpetrators to accept that they are responsible for their own violence and to prevent future violence. Making perpetrators aware of violence and of their responsibility should be the focus of any programme, the members of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination stressed when discussing a report by Athina Kyriakidou (Cyprus, SOC) on this subject.

These programmes are having a rather positive impact on victim safety and most of those who participate in these programmes would not reoffend. They cannot, however, replace criminal penalties commensurate with the seriousness of offences, the committee concluded.

In a draft resolution adopted unanimously, the Committee calls on Council of Europe member states to set up, with appropriate financial resources, such programmes throughout their territory in close co-operation with support services for victims of violence, health and social services, law-enforcement and judicial authorities if they have not yet done so.

Ms Kyriakidou's report will be debated during the next meeting of the PACE Standing Committee in Brussels on 18 Novemeber 2014.