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'Time to break the silence and stop violence against women'

"Faced with challenges that undermine the very foundations of our democratic societies, we must maintain our commitment and fight for our values. Combatting violence against women is one of them," declared Ms Sahiba Gafarova, PACE General Rapporteur on violence against women on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November).

"Civil society and NGOs work every day in the field to find a way out for women and girls victims of gender-based violence. We must support them but not only on paper," added Ms Gafarova referring to budgetary cuts that have affected too many NGOs in recent years, forcing some of them to close down.

“It is our shared responsibility, as political leaders, to ensure there is adequate and sustainable funding for prevention measures and for assistance and protection services for women and girls victims of all forms of violence," she continued.

Ms Gafarova finally recalled that this year alone three countries have ratified and four have signed the Istanbul Convention. “I strongly encourage countries which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention, thus reaffirming their commitment to break the silence and to stop violence against women,” she concluded.