Sexual violence in the public space: stop trivialisation and impunity

The Assembly today expressed its concern at the magnitude of the phenomenon of sexual violence and harassment of women in the public space. “Although this violence takes place in public, sometimes in front of dozens of people, women often find themselves facing their attackers alone because witnesses fail to act. This widespread indifference only increases the victims’ feeling of insecurity and helplessness,” PACE warned.

Adopting a resolution, based on a report prepared by Françoise Hetto-Gaasch (Luxembourg, EPP/CD), the parliamentarians called for “an end to impunity” by prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence and harassment in thepublic space. Awareness-raising campaigns should be launch and supported, as well as specific preventive measures implemented, especially through education programmes.

The resolution proposes also to launch a dialogue with the media on their responsibility for providing objective information on sexual violence and harassment in the public space and encourage them to give prominence to awareness campaigns and to associations working to combat violence against women.