'We must fight every form of violence against women, even when there is no visible sign'

International day for the elimination of violence against women, 25 November 2011

Edinburgh, 25.11.2011 - “We must fight every form of violence against women, even when there is no visible sign” said Mr Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), Chairperson of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.

The International day for the elimination of violence against women is a reminder of how widespread violence against women is worldwide. Psychological violence leaves no visible sign, yet its scars last a long time. It is a particularly insidious and disruptive crime, difficult to detect – even by the victim - and difficult to prove. It causes enormous damage and is often the first step towards an escalation of violence. Without exception all victims of physical violence in an intimate relationship have first been victim to psychological violence.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, open for signature on 11 May 2011, covers all form of violence, including those which are not foreseen in some legal systems, such as psychological violence, and provides new tools to eradicate this scourge. The Parliamentary Assembly is sparing no effort to promote the Convention and urge all countries, within the Council o Europe and beyond, to sign it and ratify it in the shortest time possible. When the Convention enters into force, a better day will be dawning for millions of victims of all forms of violence.