The Tories in the European Parliament yet again showed that they do not view violence against women in the same way as all reasonable people.
In the European Parliament yesterday we voted on a report on violence against women. The European Conservative and Reformists, dominated by the British Conservatives, asked for recorded votes on a number of issues, presumably to tell the world that they are anti-women and do not condemn domestic violence.
Either whole or the majority of the ECR group voted against the following:
– a demand that Member States ensure that there is training for officials likely to come into contact with cases of violence against women – including law enforcement, social welfare, child welfare, healthcare and emergency centre staff – in order to detect, identify and properly deal with such cases, with a special focus on the needs and rights of victims
– the establishment of a European charter setting out a minimum level of assistance services to be offered to victims of violence against women, including: the right to legal aid; the creation of shelters to meet victims’ needs for protection and temporary accommodation; urgent psychological aid services to be provided free of charge by specialists on a decentralised and accessible basis; and financial aid arrangements aimed at promoting victims’ independence and facilitating their return to normal life and the world of work,
– an increased number of courts specifically handling gender-based violence; more resources and training materials on gender-based violence for judges, public prosecutors and lawyers; and improvements to the specialist units in law enforcement bodies, by increasing their staff numbers and improving their training and equipment
– a paragraph highlighting that migrant women, including undocumented migrant women, and women asylum-seekers form two subcategories of women that are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence;
– a paragraph emphasising that Member States should devote appropriate resources to preventing and combating violence against women, including through recourse to the Structural Funds
– calling on the EU and its Member States to establish a legal framework that gives immigrant women the right to hold their own passport and residence permit and makes it possible to hold a person criminally responsible for taking these documents away;
– that the European Union, within the new legal framework established by the Treaty of Lisbon, should become a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its optional protocol