Violence against women bill reaches third reading

family law

A bill requiring the UK government to ratify the so-called ‘Istanbul Convention’ will reach its third stage in the House of Commons today.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is commonly referred to as the Istanbul Convention because it was launched in the eponymous city in 2011. It aims to strengthen international protections for women at risk of various forms of violence.

The UK became a signatory back in 2012 but it has yet to ‘ratify’ the Convention – i.e. formally adopt it into domestic law. The bill currently progressing through Parliament aims to finally jog the government into doing so.

The government, meanwhile, clams that revisions to domestic are necessary before it can ratify the Convention and it is expected to table amendments to the bill as a result.

The Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill was introduced by Scottish National Party MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford.

Read more here.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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2 comments

Nemo Momenti - February 24, 2017 at 12:57pm

Shockingly sexist that this Bill should only be concerned with violence against women, when it is now widely understood that domestic violence is equally perpetrated by both men and women.

Panos Kakaviatos - February 28, 2017 at 12:43pm

Dear Mr. Momenti,

There is nothing “shockingly sexist” about our convention, which specifically states that it addresses sexual violence against men just as much as it does against women. But because women are much more often victims, the title focuses on women. Just a point of order. The relevant language as making our convention applicable to men (and boys) is here: “Because it is not only women and girls who suffer domestic violence, parties to the convention are encouraged to apply the protective framework it creates to men who are exposed to violence within the family or domestic unit. Nevertheless, it should not be overlooked that the majority of victims of domestic violence are women and that domestic violence against them is part of a wider pattern of discrimination and inequality.”

Link to the above text: http://www.coe.int/en/web/istanbul-convention/about-the-convention

Thanks for your time and interest,
Panos Kakaviatos
Media relations for Council of Europe

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