Sexual violence and harassment of women in public space, which
are strongly condemned by the Istanbul Convention, are a universal
problem that is widely ignored. The events in Cologne on New Year’s
Eve 2015 showed that a public debate on this issue was necessary.
This report aims at raising awareness of the full extent of
the phenomenon and of the need to fight against this type of violence.
Potential witnesses have an important role to play in this context,
but they seldom react. This failure to take action exacerbates the
psychological impact of such violence on the victims, namely feelings
of insecurity, guilt and shame, and only helps to perpetuate violence.
The report underlines the positive role which men can play in preventing
violence in public space, as well as the media, which have a duty
to report objectively on the problem.
Member and observer States are called upon, among other things,
to ratify the Istanbul Convention, to put an end to impunity by
prosecuting the perpetrators of violence, to raise public awareness
through specific campaigns on the subject and to combat gender stereotypes
from a very young age.