To date, the EU has no binding legislation regarding violence against women. This is critical, as violence against women is a human rights issue and affects approximately 45% of all women across Europe. An estimated one-fifth of women in the EU suffer from violence within the home and more than one in ten women is a victim of sexual violence involving the use of force. Seven women die every day from domestic violence in the EU.
The EU must therefore raise awareness on the issue and affirm its political commitment to end violence against women. By establishing a European Year to end violence against women and girls, the EU would play a leading role in raising awareness on violence against women, and at the same time propose concrete measures to act against the perpetuation of violence against women.
EU Years are key policy tools to develop strong policies and involve all actors on a specific issue. The EP has adopted on 25 February 2014 the legislative resolution of MEP Parvanova, demanding EU action to combat violence against women, including an EU Year. This is why the European Women’s Lobby and its 2000 member organisations in 31 European countries want to see such year be established in 2016, and we need to prove to the EU institutions that everyone cares about it and that we want a Europe free from violence.