Combating violence against women and domestic violence

Briefing 02-06-2022

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 8 March 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in her political guidelines for the Commission's 2019-2024 term that the EU accession to the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence remains a key priority, and that the EU should do all it can to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and punish offenders (IA, p. 6). The proposal is included in the 2022 Commission work programme and in the joint declaration on EU legislative priorities for 2022. The EU gender equality strategy 2020-2025 reiterates that gender-based violence and harassment have reached alarming levels, and remain under-reported and overlooked. It announces that action will be taken to tackle violence against women (VaW) and domestic violence. According to the Commission, the proposal sets out targeted rules for the protection of victims of VaW and domestic violence in order to strengthen the actions taken by the Member States. The proposal aims to ensure minimum rules on the level of protection across the EU against such violence, regardless of whether it takes place online or offline.