The EESC felt that the issue of domestic violence against women should be looked at in greater depth and decided to draw up an own-initiative opinion.
The safety and equal treatment of women, which are inherent fundamental human rights, must be basic conditions and minimum requirements for all countries that are, or wish to become, EU members. The EESC believes there is urgent need for a pan-European strategy, based on existing treaty provisions. Reliable and comparable statistics on domestic violence should be compiled in all the Member States, accession countries and candidate countries and each Member State should draw up a national action plan for combating domestic violence against women in the light of the pan-European strategy; this plan should envisage specific measures for the practical implementation of the strategy with particular emphasis on the following:
- national legal provisions;
- statistical assessment of domestic violence;
- measures to help and support actual and potential victims of domestic violence;
- victims of domestic violence from specific population groups;
preventive and punitive measures aimed at the perpetrators;
- financial and organisational support for NGOs in preventing domestic violence against women, organising information campaigns and training courses, providing help and support for victims, and dealing with perpetrators;
- appropriate training of professionals whose task is to identify domestic violence and provide adequate help to victims;
appointment of national rapporteurs to collect, exchange and process information and statistics on domestic violence against women;
- information campaigns.
The EESC believes it is absolutely essential to find new solutions for combating domestic violence against women, and to provide for sharing of information between countries and at European level on projects and measures relating to good practice.