Seminar on “Men’s Active Participation in Combating Domestic Violence”
Wednesday, May 9, 2007 9:00 AM

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, gave a speech in Zagreb, Croatia on domestic violence in the 46 member-states. She cited statistics that 1/5 of women in the region experience physical violence with force and 45% experience some kind of violence, including stalking. The perpetrators of this violence are mostly men in their immediate surroundings. 12 to 15% of women find themselves in abusive relationships.

Madam Deputy Secretary General stated that continuing violence against women is against human rights norms of the Council of Europe. The Council has been working on measures to prevent women’s suffering. One such measure is Recommendation Rec (2002) 5, which covers “all forms of gender-based violence” and includes legal and policy suggestions to member states. The Recommendation also seeks to implement awareness-raising measures in education, training and the media.

In November 2006 the Council of Europe set up a Task Force to Combat Violence against Women in Madrid. This process will include both national actors and NGOs.

The new reforms will try to change the mentalities of the nearly 800 million people whose states are members of the Council of Europe by spreading information about the prevalence of violence and ways to seek help. Training for police, public officials and social workers will be emphasized to make sure that men who often occupy these positions acquire a sensitive approach to the issue of violence against women. Inclusion and encouragement for men to act as role models of nonviolence is an important way to combat violence against women.

Compiled from: "Seminar on 'Men’s Active Participation in Combating Domestic Violence,'" Council of Europe, 9 May 2007.