Today the EU Council agreed a preliminary position on the European Commission’s bold proposal for an EU Directive to Combat Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. IPPF EN deeply regrets that the Council’s General Approach reveals a decision by Member States to cut from the draft law a requirement for all EU countries to criminalise rape using a strong and harmonised definition based on the absence of consent by the victim*. The progressive definition in the European Commission’s proposal was fully aligned with the Istanbul Convention, to which the EU recently acceded after years of stalling by national governments.
"Women, girls and minorities across the EU face widespread sexual violence, and this goes largely unpunished. It is inexcusable that the Council has today failed to find the political will to take effective action against rape. Member States are jeopardising a unique opportunity for the EU to adopt a law that guarantees equal rights for all women and girls to access justice and live safe from sexual violence," says Camille Butin for IPPF EN.