Every year, millions of women are raped: by their husbands,
partners or ex-partners, male relatives or acquaintances, or complete
strangers. However, most of these rapes are not reported and the
perpetrators go unpunished.
Rape is a serious violation both of women’s physical and psychological
integrity and also of the right to freedom, safety and dignity enjoyed
by all human beings.
Any woman can be raped, but no woman deserves to be raped.
Consent is necessary for sexual intercourse every time, whatever
the relationship of the victim with the rapist.
The Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men believes
that the fight against rape needs to be stepped up, and thus recommends
that member states ensure that their legislation on rape and sexual
violence reaches the highest possible standard. Member states should
also develop a comprehensive strategy which should comprise measures
to prevent rape in the first place, as well as to ensure (securely-funded)
protection of and assistance to rape victims at every step of the
proceedings, including, possibly, compensation for the victims.
The Parliamentary Assembly should call on the Committee of
Ministers to instruct the Ad hoc Committee on Preventing and Combating
Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO) to include
in the future Council of Europe convention the severest and most
widespread forms of violence against women, including rape and sexual
assault. It should also recommend that the Committee of Ministers
launch a Council of Europe campaign to change attitudes, possibly
in the framework of the promotion of the future Council of Europe convention,
and encourage member states to concomitantly launch national campaigns.