EU Council Adopts Landmark Law to Combat Violence Against Women

violence feature

In a historic move, the Council of Ministers has unanimously approved the EU directive aimed at tackling violence against women and domestic violence.

The newly adopted law mandates all EU member states to criminalise egregious acts such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and cyber violence, including the non-consensual dissemination of personal images. By standardising legal frameworks across the bloc, the directive seeks to create a robust shield against these offences.

Key provisions of the directive include:

- Criminalisation of female genital mutilation, forced marriage, non-consensual sharing of personal images, cyber stalking, cyberbullying, and incitement to hatred or violence online.
- Imposition of prison sentences ranging from one to five years for perpetrators, with aggravated circumstances warranting stricter penalties.
- Establishment of comprehensive assistance and protection measures for victims, ensuring easier reporting of crimes and online reporting options for cybercrimes.
- Emphasis on safeguarding children by providing them with professional support and protection in cases involving crimes committed by individuals with parental responsibility.
- Protection of victim confidentiality and prevention of repeated victimisation by restricting the admissibility of evidence related to the victim's previous sexual behaviour in criminal proceedings.

Moreover, the directive prioritises preventive measures aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against women and domestic violence. By promoting awareness and emphasising the pivotal role of consent in sexual relationships, the EU aims to foster a safer and more equitable future for all.

Looking ahead, member states are granted a three-year window to transpose the directive into national law, signalling a proactive approach towards swift implementation and tangible progress in combating gender-based violence.

(Source: Amna)

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