EU countries need stronger legislation to tackle rape

Crime, european parliament, Gender, Human Rights, photos, prostitution, sexual harrassment, United Kingdom, violence

Sexual violence against women is a most brutal crime, yet still remains a taboo subject in many countries.  It is estimated that almost every other woman in Europe suffers gender-based violence at some point in her life, with 1 in 5 victims of male domestic violence, and 1 in 10 victims of rape or forced sexual acts.

 Yet across the EU rape is one of the least reported crimes, with less than 10% of rapes being reported and far fewer cases ending in a conviction. While rape is criminalised in all 27 EU Member States, some have a broader definition of rape than others. Many EU countries still require proof of physical resistance or do not cover all forms of rape.

 I was therefore very happy to host an event at the European Parliament this morning to launch the latest report into how EU countries are tackling this hateful crime.

Hosting event to launch EWL Barometer on Rape 2103

Hosting event at European Parliament to launch 2013 EWL Barometer on Rape

The European Women’s Lobby Barometer on Rape 2013 looks at legislation and data collection in 32 countries. It compares them with the minimum standards for sexual violence and rape set by the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women, adopted in 2011 and currently being ratified).

The EWL found that just 5 countries have legislation that corresponds to the Istanbul Convention definition: the UK and the Netherlands who have “better legislation”, and Ireland, Italy and Turkey who meet minimum standards. The majority of countries (21) need to improve their legislation, recognising lack of consent as an essential element in determining rape and sexual abuse. Six countries need to urgently change their laws (Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Serbia and Ukraine).

MOD BANS PAGE 3

Ministry of Defence, Sexual Equality, sexual harrassment

The MOD have put filters on the Page 3 section of The Sun’s website. The Sun are livid as you can imagine and have already sent their Page 3 hotties down to Whitehall to protest.

ministry_of_defence_400656a

Please drop them a note to commend them for this decision. Even a one-liner of thanks will show your support for this action and counter the protest The Sun are making.

MOD Ministerial Correspondence Unit
5th Floor, Zone A
Main Building
Whitehall, London
SW1A 2HB

Technically, if the web content is not suitable, then neither are hard copies. The MOD may have started something here, setting an example of challenging the widespread use of porn within the armed forces, by challenging sexism and sexual harassment of their female service personnel.