Approximately one in three women in the European Union is molested, raped or other forms of sexual violence and crime…
The European Parliament hosted a conference on the fight against sexual violence, where victims from different countries testified, and experts shared recommendations. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights noted that a particularly criminogenic situation has developed in fashion showrooms. Journalist Lisa Brinkworth says:
“We are fighting not only sexual harassment by powerful male predators who are sometimes associated with organized crime, but also a legal system that prevents us from seeking justice.”
Psychotherapist Laurie Marsden stated:
“Rape and sexual violence destroy a person’s sense of identity, security, and trust in others.”
Ebba Karlsson, who lives in Sweden, tried to offer advice to abused women by presenting a book she wrote about her own hardships:
“Perhaps you should establish contact with an organization that is useful to you, which you can easily find on the Internet. Tell there what happened to you. Know that it’s not your fault, know that you are not alone. When I started presenting my book, I realized how many people have been abused. Now we have gathered together in the European Parliament and realized that we have one common concern. We need to get the laws changed so that people like us are protected.”
In March of this year, the European Commission proposed that gender-based violence be considered a “particularly serious crime that does not recognize borders” between member states. Now the parliamentary committees are considering a draft directive from Brussels on this issue. It will contain descriptions of the types of crimes, the penalties provided for and the statute of limitations established at the legislative level.
Anne-Claire Le Jeune, of the Paris Bar Association, presented her recommendations to the conference:
“It is very important that the legal procedure and assistance to the victim begin immediately after the victim comes with a complaint. The complaint must then be immediately referred to the prosecutor. A criminal case should be initiated already on the fact that the woman reported the incident. A single European and possibly international approach to these crimes should be developed in order to give weight to the legislation that is being prepared in our country.”
Among the proposals for the directive are measures to prevent sexual violence, protect against it, and effectively prosecute sexual offenses committed, including online harassment.
Earlier, our publication wrote that Greek police released advice and guidance for survivors of sexual assault and harassment in a message: “You have a voice. We are next to you”, which contains not only useful recommendations, but also important information.