Zero tolerance of violence against women
Gender-based violence is both a form of discrimination and a violation of the victim’s fundamental freedoms. It can be defined as violence directed against a person because of that person's gender (including gender identity/expression) or as violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately. This can include:
- Violence in close relationships
- Sexual violence (including rape, sexual assault and harassment)
- Trafficking in human beings
- Diverse forms of harmful practices, such as forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour’ crimes
Women and girls are the main victims of gender-based violence. It is estimated that in Europe, 20 % to 25 % of women have suffered physical violence at least once during their lives. Even more astoundingly, hundreds of thousands of women living in Europe have been subjected to genital mutilation and thousands of girls are at risk.
Gender-based violence is both a consequence of the inequalities between women and men as well as an obstacle to equality.
What is the EU doing?
- The EU protects women and children from gender-based violence through legislation and practical measures on victims' rights
- Measures are being developed to eliminate female genital mutilation
- The EU co-funds national governments' awareness-raising activities
- The EU supports non-governmental organisations with transnational projects to combat violence against women, children and young people