Data on Gender-Based Violence Worrying, Ombudswoman Says

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The perpetrator too often repeatedly violates the measures, which may lead to the victim’s death, she said at a round table organised by the Social Democrats parliamentary group ahead of International Women’s Day.

The round table focused on the European Protection Order as a legal instrument in combating violence against women. Ljubičić said it was necessary to impose stricter punishment on perpetrators and improve prevention and the education of professionals.

Reducing the rate of gender-based violence is a government priority, said Vedrana Nikolić Šimundža, assistant justice minister for criminal law.

The European Protection Order is an attempt to equate legal rules and provide the same or similar protection in all member states, she added.

It is important to raise public awareness of the European Protection Order and that we should issue it if requested and do it urgently, she said.

Speaking via video link, Austrian MP and European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights chair Petra Bayr said international law could be a strong tool in combating violence against women.

Experience shows the violence rate is falling in countries which adopted even non-binding conventions on women’s protection because there is greater public awareness and pressure on governments to act, she said.

The gold standard is the Istanbul Convention, which not only provides a clear and broad definition of different forms of violence, but also obliges signatories to criminalise certain offences, she added.


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