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PACE calls for ‘treatment programmes’ for sex offenders

 PACE’s Standing Committee has called for “treatment programmes” for perpetrators of domestic violence and for sex offenders – provided they do not come at the expense of assistance and support for victims of violence.

Adopting a report by Athina Kyriakidou (Cyprus, SOC) during a meeting in Brussels, the committee said such programmes – which have already been set up in 38 Council of Europe member states – would help perpetrators to “change their attitudes, adopt non-violent behaviour and prevent them from reoffending”.

But the parliamentarians also warned that such programmes do not represent a solution on their own, and are only truly effective if they are part of an overall campaign to combat violence against women and domestic violence.

A lasting solution to violence against women could only be found with the involvement and participation of men, they pointed out.

They called on states to join the 15 countries who have so far ratified the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, which lays down the main principles for laws to combat violence against women and domestic violence.