Ecuador: Press Release-- Presidential Statement on Violence Against Women
Monday, April 8, 2013 3:30 PM

27 March 2013 - On behalf of the members of parliament attending the 128th Assembly of the Parliamentary Union, I express our deep concern at widespread acts of sexual violence against women and, in particular, rape in all its manifestations and contexts.

We strongly condemn sexual violence. It is one of the most frequent forms of violence inflicted upon women, be it in the public or private sphere. We call for urgent and effective action to guarantee women their right to physical and psychological integrity and a life free of fear and violence. 

We express our outrage at these heinous acts of violence and join public calls for an end to impunity.

We urge all parliaments to scrutinize existing laws to ensure that these crimes are defined for what they are - a violation of an individual’s physical integrity and sexual autonomy, committed by any person regardless of their relationship to the victims, in any setting. We must criminalize such acts of sexual violence, enhance prevention by tackling their root causes, toughen punishment of perpetrators and provide women with adequate protection.

Through our oversight function and political control, we must ensure the enforcement of laws and the allocation of appropriate resources. We will request our governments to report to us regularly on measures taken to raise public awareness. We will ask for statistical data so as to evaluate the incidence of acts of sexual violence and the effectiveness of measures in place.

We will also demand that our governments ensure that all those involved in law enforcement are adequately prepared, trained and held accountable. We must ensure that the response to rape and sexual violence is sensitive to women’s needs and that the victims are not subject to punishment, abandonment or stigmatization.

We firmly declare that such acts are intolerable and commit ourselves to championing the cause of ending sexual violence against women.

Read the press release here: Inter-Parliamentary Union Bulletin (March 27, 2013).