GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Kostadinka Kuneva, comments: “Every minute that we remain silent another woman becomes a victim of psychological, sexual or verbal violence within a family. The Istanbul Convention can break this silence by ending the impunity of perpetrators, protecting victims and preventing various forms of violence.”

“Ratification of the Convention alone is not enough. We need it to come into force as rapidly as possible and we also need to take innovative measures. I propose some pan-European measures to help victims of gender-based and domestic violence. For example, I ask the Commission to look into the creation of an emergency call number – like 112 – for any person who is a victim of violence to request help,” Kuneva explained.

GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Malin Björk also comments: Today is a big day. I am glad the EU has taken yet another important step to combat widespread violence against women and girls. The political left has struggled for gender-based violence to be taken seriously for a long time.”

“But our work does not stop here. The next step is to get binding EU legislation. No member state should be able to neglect any of the policies needed to combat violence.

“It does not make any sense that the EU has legislation on tractors and grain types while completely lacking minimum standards on combating violence against women.”

Spanish MEP, Ángela Vallina, adds: “We certainly welcome the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, and appeal to member states who have not yet ratified it to go ahead and do so.”

“We must step up our efforts to implement what is in writing. That’s why I support the European Parliament’s resolution which calls on member states to assign adequate financial and human resources to prevent and combat violence against women and to provide assistance to women who are victims.”

Portuguese MEP, João Pimenta Lopes, concludes: “Eradicating violence against women, in all its manifestations, cannot be disassociated from making women's rights in society real, effective and enshrined in law.”

“In practical terms, women must have full involvement in social, political and sporting life, as well as family life. We need a culture that is based on freedom, democracy, equality, justice and real progress – we need to truly implement these values.”

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