Recent attacks against women in several European cities shocked
public opinion and triggered debates on migration and integration
policies. They also shed light on sexual violence, sexism and gender
inequality experienced in our societies.
Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human
rights violations and is rooted in a profound gender inequality.
With one woman in three victim of violence in Europe, it cannot
be considered a cultural problem. There should be no impunity for
violence and perpetrators of any form of violence against women should
be brought to justice.
Media hold an important responsibility to report on objective
facts without stigmatisation. Partial, late or dishonest media reporting
on crimes can feed in conspiracy theories and fuel hatred against
a part of the population. It can also contribute to mistrust in
the authorities and the media.
These attacks against women call for a comprehensive response
including an official investigation into the facts and reactions
as well as specific actions to protect women from violence. These
include the ratification and full implementation of the Council
of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against
women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).