The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

EU agreement on tougher measures against violence against women

Sexual and domestic violence are to be punished more severely in the EU in future. Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states agreed on Tuesday in Strasbourg on a law that will regulate certain offenses in the same way in all countries. According to the EU countries and the Parliament, this is the first EU law to combat sexual violence. "Today we are taking the first step towards making Europe the first continent in the world to eliminate violence against women," said Frances Fitzgerald, the European Parliament's chief negotiator.

Cyber-stalking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation - or if intimate images are forwarded without consent - will be punishable throughout the EU in future. The new regulations still have to be approved by Parliament and the EU member states. In most cases, this is a formality.

However, EU-wide standards on rape were not regulated. Parliament called for a regulation requiring consent to every sexual act: Only yes means yes. However, several countries in the EU, including Germany, had blocked this. Critics argued that there was no legal basis for such a uniform regulation in European law. A corresponding article therefore did not make it into the law.

Previously, over a hundred prominent women had written an open letter to Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) calling on him to abandon the blockade. "I am very disappointed that some member states have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and block the inclusion of a consent-based rape law," said Socialist MEP Evin Incir.

In future, however, the EU member states must set up a national telephone helpline that victims of violence can contact around the clock and free of charge. They should also take measures to prevent violence against women and domestic violence. These should, for example, aim to raise awareness of the forms of violence against women and combat harmful gender stereotypes.

©Keystone/SDA

Most Read

Delivery Services in Switzerland Have New Competition

22 February 2024
Delivery service
An Austrian company opens it's first online supermarket outside the country. Targeting the greater Zurich area.

Murder in Frauenfeld: Trial for the Murder of an Egyptian

22 February 2024
Murder in Frauenfeld
Two men face murder charges over the 2007 killing of a 27-year-old Egyptian, whose body was discovered submerged in Barchetsee.

Swiss Semi-Conductor Government Initiative: Will it Work?

23 February 2024
Swiss semiconductor
SwissChips Initiative represents Switzerland's strategic move to bolster its semiconductor industry amidst global competition.

Swiss CEO Vranckx Moves to the Lufthansa Executive Board

23 February 2024
Swiss CEO
Swiss CEO Dieter Vranckx moves to Lufthansa as Chief Commercial Officer, after leading Swiss through challenging times.

Stay in Touch!

Noteworthy

Swiss biotech
Swiss Biotech Firm Idorsia: Stock Soars – but Why?
26 February 2024
Decathlon
Decathlon Opens 5 more Stores in Switzerland
26 February 2024