domestic-violenceDespite sky-high unemployment and a struggling economy, gender equality remains an important priority in the European Union. Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists, listed it as one of his top three priorities in our recent head-to-head debate, and, this week, the Irish Presidency of the European Council is holding a conference in Dublin on the topic, covering many of the same issues we raised in our themed week on gender equality back in March.

We wanted to return to that debate and take a look at a few related issues we didn’t get to discuss last time, so we spoke to Dagmar Schumacher, Director of the UN Women Brussels Liason Office. We asked her what she thought are some of the key challenges to women’s socio-economic empowerment, both in Europe and around the world.

Schumacher’s argument that violence against women is one of the key barriers to gender equality was interesting, and it’s something we didn’t really discuss last time. We did have one comment sent in from Ariste, who thought the blame for inequality between the sexes fell squarly on the shoulders of men and their value system:

Women are purposefully kept out of the good jobs and equality does not exist… Men are always trying to impose their values on everything, and frankly that is why we have so much family violence, and women get the nonsense jobs.

We asked Schumacher to respond:

We also had the opportunity to take Ariste’s comment to Blerina Vila, a Programme Officer at the International Labour Organization, to see how she would react.

Vila’s response to Ariste was interesting, particularly her argument that a patriarchal value system harms the development of men as well as women:

I would suggest that we not see this as a war of the sexes… both men and women are, in many cases, trapped in values, such as patriarchal values, that are oppressive first and foremost for women, but also for men… I do believe that the values of patriarchal systems, that are also encrusted in institutional frameworks – to some extent in Europe as well – are making victims as much among men as women.

Finally, we spoke to Joanna Senyszyn, a Polish MEP and vice-president of the Democratic Left Alliance party (part of the centre-left  Social Democrats in the European Parliament). Ms Senyszyn is a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and recently called for an EU directive against domestic violence in a speech to the European Parliament. We spoke to her, and asked her why she thought such a directive was necessary:

senyszyn-speaksAt the moment, each Member State can decide for themselves what measures to take against domestic violence. I think an EU directive is necessary because it would be  obligatory for all Member States.

For example, in Poland, due to strong pressure from the Catholic Church, for a long time the government didn’t sign the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. And, for the moment, it’s not ratified. It’s the same situation in many European countries; many Member States haven’t ratified it yet, and a convention which is not ratified is not implemented…

I also hope that an EU directive would help create a common European procedure to deal with the people who actually commit violence against women. So, for example, in many countries the person who  commits the violence remains at home, and it is the woman who has to move with the children to a different place.

What do YOU think? Should there be an EU directive harmonising the procedures for combating violence against women? Do patriarchal values harm the development of men as fathers and rolemodels, or do they represent traditional family values that help bind society together? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

Vote 2014

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60 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    A crise europeia afecta todas as classes sociais e os valores particais entre os homens e as mulheres estão também a ser afectados porque são as mulheres que dão a cara e pedem ajuda quando não têm dinheiro para dar de comer aos seus filhos Os estados membros da UE têm que ser mais responsaveis nas suas decisões e garantir a que todos tenham as mesmas oportunidades

  2. Jovan Ivosevic

    How about respecting Subsidiarity? Last I checked the EU is only supposed to act when it can do a better job than if Member States are acting alone. What is it about domestic violence laws that makes the Union better able to act than a Member State which is closer to its citizens?

  3. Christos Mouzeviris

    Yes…. Women are sterotyped and patronized to be able or suitable to do certain jobs or take on certain roles… As do men that are expected to be always strong masculine and behave in a certain way… Studies though show, and they accurate here in Ireland that the highest suicide rates exist among young males between 17 and 35… So time to rethink I guess the roles of the sexes in a social or professional environment…!!!

  4. Denis Cooper

    My idea is that the UK should leave the anti-democratic EU and restore and improve its national democracy, rather than having to endure these constant intrusions into matters which have nothing whatsoever to do with trade, the only reason why we ever got entangled with all this eurofederalist crap.

    Jovan Ivosevic asks: “What about respecting subsidiarity”, and the answer is that even if it wasn’t a complete joke in practice just the concept of “subsidiarity” should be regarded as anathema by any self-respecting independent sovereign state.

  5. Malcolm Seychell

    The level of stupidity of the EUSSR is because something out of this world. Waste of time and money… They have directive on birds, however they kill babies…. You cannot shout with your wife, but you can beat her up if you love sharia…..

  6. Maria Johnie Marinaki

    absolutely… @Akos+Malcolm abortion is not a crime… rape is… Sharia law is… you can tell your religious fanatiscism bullshit elsewhere (where and if you would be heard), not here, and certainly not in Europe…

  7. Maria Spirova

    Dear Mr Tarkanyi, when you develop a womb of your own, we will take your opinion seriously. Babies brought unwanted in this world and subjected to poverty, neglect and abuse or life with debilitating disease and disability are not preferable to a few cells scraped off the cervix, in my opinion. But that thorny issue aside – we don’t need EU directives against domestic violence! It is the same as needing a directive against murder. A crime is a crime, people. We need working law enforcement and a directive on how to keep police and courts accountable for not doing their job on domestic abuse!

  8. Daria Delnevo

    It’s really sad that the only comments made by males up to now suggest that violence against women is a moot problem, a “waste of time and money”. Instead they express more concern over the freedom granted to EU women to control their own bodies. The road towards de facto gender equality is still clearly a very long one. Violence against women won’t stop until males keep considering it to be a secondary problem, or worse as an acceptable way of behaviour to which no one should have a say. Sad.

  9. Jovan Ivosevic

    Daria, while I agree with the abortion comment, it’s really sad that you perceive domestic violence as a “woman’s issue” even though every single piece of scientific research says it isn’t, and lot of research has been done especially in the United States after the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted. First of all, women initiate physical violence in a dispute just as often as men. Secondly, in instances where both sides have used violence, women were the initial aggressor more than 50% of the time. And while women were more likely to suffer physical injury than men (after all, most men are physically stronger) approximately 1/3 of the injured from domestic violence were men. This is of course before you take into account male children who are victims of the same. So if you are going to have an intelligent debate about a serious subject, you should not do your research by proclamation from feminist groups about a subject. You should look at the evidence.

    Domestic violence has in no way been curbed in the US since the VAWA law passed. In fact, now that all states have mandatory arrest laws pursuant to domestic violence allegations, women have been given a bargaining chip to threaten their husbands or partners with domestic violence arrests in all sorts of issues, from matters of settling the finances in a divorce to child visitation issues, to being able to avoid criminal penalties for their own abuse because after all, what police officer will believe that a woman assaulted a man if they come to the House? Meanwhile, there has been an uphill battle for the same resources which are available to women to avoid domestic violence to be made available to men because much like you, politicians also perceive it as a “women’s issue.”

    And last but not least, I have no idea why the EU is best suited to handle this, as opposed to it being legislated on a national level. You did not address that at all.

  10. Marija Laba

    A) lets start accepting religions- stop being racist, or at least pretend you are not, until your racism magically disappears.
    There are many religions in Europe and lets stop being blind to it. Through the acceptance of one another can we only learn and teach each other different things.
    B) If men were not prone to be the agressors, then they should not fear the arrests, as it is always- NOT guilty until proven- the purpose of the law, that the STATE stands behind the woman, who might be subjected to the Violence
    C) if you are taking the stupid stance saying that men are unprotected because of VAWA, and now women are threatening their men on purpose only then you are a very blind man. There are many women involved in very bad situations, they get beaten up every night, they are scared for lives all the time. They can’t help themselves because they are subjected to psychological violence too.
    I think that a man, who is threatened by a woman, should also have ENOUGH SENSE to leave that kind of woman.
    D)BECAUSE LEGISLATING ON A NATIONAL LEVEL= avoiding to legislate for it. Means that it is not uniform standards for the whole lot of MS- which means that if I go to a different MS- then I am unprotected!

  11. David Fuzzey

    What good will a directive from your union do?. Have any laws stopped violent ones being violent?. All I can say is He who hits a Woman is NOT a Man.

  12. J. Abildgaard

    Dear EU,

    This is a very good idea, but only IF the EU is willing to get to the bottom of the matter….meaning that the authorities ALL over Europe and, including the EU Commission as well stop the domestic violence against their own Citizens…as an example I have written below – which is used and highly abused by all authorities/Governments within the EU….especially when they/you systematically breach Regulations and written Law’s against their/your own Citizens…

    Authorities in the EU Countries are supposed to be good examples, but as long as they/you keep abusing your own Citizens – how can you expect men and women to stop domestic violence against each other???

    An example of domestic violence used/abused by EU authorities/Governments/Commission against Europeans is:

    EMOTIONAL ABUSE:

    Emotional abuse is a highly effective means of establishing a power imbalance within the relationship between the authorities and the citizens. It is often unseen (not spoken about because of fear for more violence) or intangible to those outside the relationship between the Citizen and the authorities. Emotional abuse is as harmful as physical violence. It often involves threats and total destruction of human beings/citizens….

    It includes:

    being put down – officially ”by accident” but done 100% systematically…
    being constantly criticized and punished..
    being constantly controlled and monitored by the use of technology: including their phone use being checked and recorded; their mobile phone logs being checked and having all text messages read; authorities using spyware to read emails and secretly installing ”hidden” cameras in streets/buildings etc..
    threats by the authorities to kill/destroy/”help” commit ”suicide” to/on the Citizens – including details of how and when they will do so.
    property being destroyed including cars, furniture, clothes, home and personal belongings.
    never being left on their own; citizens being followed where ever they walk/talk.

    In the above I am referring to the ”control” of Citizens in one specific EU Country…especially controlling the citizens who are single parents, unemployed and/or in other ways dependent of the authorities in the Country in question… and, I know for sure this is also the technique used by all EU Countries – including some of the EU Commissions offices when dealing with the very, very many ”mistakes” done every year on Regulation 1408/71 – now 883/2004 – the Law for ”free” movement of people within Europe…

    Always remember freedom is only a word….real personal freedom/human rights doesn’t exist – especially not within the EU Countries when they want to steal money from the citizens…!!

    And dear EU – this IS domestic violence….do not expect citizens to stop their domestic violence against each other as long as the authorities do exactly so against the citizens….

  13. Jovan Ivosevic

    Marija apart from insulting me and calling me stupid, you have nothing to offer in this debate. In addition to showing your manners, you also are showing that you have no argument. For every man who should have enough sense to leave a woman who abuses him the same can be said for women who can leave abusive men. This is not the 1960s, women now work and are financially independent, men often are financially dependent on their wives, and the dynamics have changed. And if you think there is nothing wrong with “arrest and jail first, then go to court to offer up evidence, what’s wrong with that?” then you have no clue about something we like to call civil rights. The notion that someone not only can, but must be arrested because another person says so, only to later be investigated for evidence, is the complete opposite of a free and democratic society. If you are interested in learning about scientific facts regarding domestic violence, which disprove the notion that women are 99% of the victims and men are 99% of the abusers, then I will post a link to a page with many peer reviewed scientific articles. For many years, men were failing to see women not as their wives, mothers, sister or people they loved, but as the enemy who did not deserve to vote, be schooled, have the same rights, etc. It is now women who don’t see that equality among the genders is just that, equality before the law, not asking for the subjugation of the rights of men, who could also be your husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. http://www.mediaradar.org/research.php#waj

  14. Gisela Marques

    I’m sorry Jovan Ivosevic, you can quote as many statistics you like, but the fact is that I do not know of a single man in my acquaintances that has suffered or is suffering from abuse. As for women, I know at least 5!! Stop laundering women’s abuse by men with the equality of gender!!! We do not want equality of gender but equality of opportunities!!! That’s how we say it and see it here in the EU. Studies, statistics and scientific facts are so fashionable nowadays. Lets talk about real life!! And the sad truth is that each year many women die from domestic violence because nothing is done and because nowadays people like to “demonize” us as offenders. Please!!

  15. Jovan Ivosevic

    Gissela: Translation, you don’t give a damn about facts. There is no point in debating anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the reality that exists in all of society, not just people you know. And for your information, like many rape victims (female and male) male victims of domestic violence do not report the crimes because of the shame, because they come across people like you who simply don’t believe them, because other men treat them as being less of a man because they are “allowing it to happen” and because the authorities generally take the attitude that it isn’t a real crime. So you may know men who are abused, you just don’t know men who admit to being abused.

    At least I can give you enough credit to admit that scientific evidence is not important to you in forming your opinion. It is my hope that people who do want to base their opinions on reality, they will avail themselves of the evidence that is available.

  16. Jovan Ivosevic

    And last but not least, a general excerpt from Wikipedia’s introductory paragraph: “Domestic violence occurs across the world, in various cultures,[1] and affects people across society, irrespective of economic status.[2]

    In the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 1995 women reported a six times greater rate of intimate partner violence than men.[3][4] However, studies have found that men are much less likely to report victimization in these situations.[5]

    Some studies[4] have found that “women are as physically aggressive or more aggressive than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners”. However, studies have shown that women are more likely to be injured. Archer’s meta-analysis[6] found that women suffer 65% of domestic violence injuries. A Canadian study showed that 7% of women and 6% of men were abused by their current or former partners, but female victims of spousal violence were more than twice as likely to be injured as male victims, three times more likely to fear for their life, twice as likely to be stalked, and twice as likely to experience more than ten incidents of violence.[7]

    Some studies show that lesbian relationships have similar levels of violence as heterosexual relationships,[8] while other studies report that lesbian relationships exhibit substantially higher rates of physical aggression.[9]” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_domestic_violence

  17. Rosy Forlenza

    well it would be nice if there was the opportunity to comment, we need to have a properly implemented policy, the haigue agreement effectively imprisons people in a country without checking on that countries standards of fairness, ironically Ireland is one of the worst offenders in implementing divorced women’s rights, mainly because women are often the primary care givers (not always) but someone somewhere needs to audit judgments as well as general behaviour and accountability of legal representatives – it is shocking, how the responsible (mainly women and foreign partners are particularly vulnerable as they can’t leave even if that would mean greater stability and wellbeing and support for them and their children) and often have to live around a psychologically abusive partner who is rewarded for taking no responsibility. ON paper it looks good, the reality is very different, all I saw on this page was a pile of comments and what a few politicos thought, Europe needs to stop making directives and check on the adequacy of implementation on the ones to hand, and offer a free ombudsman service for peer review of judges and solicitors who plainly are unaware that they are supposed to abide by them! Less talk, more action! A directive banning domestic abuse (and it should also include financial and psychological abuse so gamblers and drinkers beware) ,would be good, but not if it is a propaganda coups, it’s pointless if the ‘talk is’ followed up with proper checking and implementation, having specially trained judges to hear these cases would be a start, most are ill equipped and just act out on their own biases, proper accountability by solicitors who lose any fiscal paper work and avoid arguing for maintenance makes the whole thing a joke!

  18. Aghogho Obar Godwin

    the political leaders in europe are mostly against the female sex as a result they will do everything in their power to subdue women. they only tolerate women. they still think the place for a woman is in the kitchen

  19. Fidalgo Xana

    It all starts at home….It can only change through education, civil conscience and severe penalties. It is a long-term process.

  20. Christina Link

    Wollte gerade sagen: ist hier jedenfalls nicht notwendig. Oder rechnet man Ignoranz und Liebesentzug mit dazu?

  21. catherine benning

    This is another storm in a teacup brought out by those who wish to benefit from the added legislation, which is not needed.

    We have laws against violence and abuse already. Simply enforce those laws. If a woman is threatened or abused, then arrest that abuser, no matter who he/she may be. And women to commit domestic violence , it isn’t only men.

    And order against the man or woman not to go within the immediate neighbourhood should be acted on if he/she does. And the punishment must be severe. Deportation if it is from those who will not abide by the rules of the country they have moved to live in.

    The root of the problem lies with the abused in many cases. Once your lover, whether that be your husband or wife, takes up harm toward you, you have a duty toward yourself not to allow it to happen again. If you take the perpetrator back into you house or bed, then you are fully aware of his/her instincts and possibilities. You then can only blame yourself if they repeat the act against you as you have given them tacit agreement to do so by accepting their court.

    The state can make as many changes to the law as it wants, but, whilst this tacit agreement continues from the abused, nothing will change.

    And you who are in the know as professionals are fully aware it is often an agreement between the two involved that keeps it recurring. And under no circumstance should the abused be forced to leave the home if it is a live in arrangement.

    An example: a guy lives with a woman and he beats her regularly, especially of a weekend. They get into some kind of ritualistic fight, until one or the other, lifts his/her hand. The police are called, they remove the offender and put him/her in the cell. Next morning they are freed, and voila, they go straight home. The abused greets them with open arms and all is well until next time. What do you do in that situation?

    Then, low and behold they break up completely. The abuser picks up with another lover, and low and you find that for some reason he/she dare not put a hand on that new person. He is bent with respect for her,/him and knows for sure, he/she will never be able to step foot in there again if they pull that kind of nonsense with this person.

    The great movie, The Colour Purple, is a good example of this.

    http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

    So, there is no need for the EU to intervene in this matter, simply use the laws already in place. And use them with severity.

  22. Lucília Gonçalves

    perante a 1 queixa o divrcio ser automtico. se tiverem habitao, quem tem que sar o agressor. duas medidas que desincentivam completamente agresso.

  23. Paul X

    To answer the question, No we do not need another directive

    The main issue with domestic abuse of both males and females is a lack of reporting, can anyone explain how yet another ream of paper from the EU is going to make more suffers report their abusers?

    Once the abuse “comes out of the kitchen” it is a crime, plain and simple, and all countries have their own legislation for dealing with crime

  24. Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Every man that uses his force against weaker people, should be isolated by the society.
    Also, there should eliminate discrimination and injustice against any man or group.
    That includes women, allthough it’s a disgrace, even to make this kind of discrimination. A woman is a man like anybody else!
    However there is something that I still can’t understand and it concerns the domestic violence. How can a person that has accept such a violence from its mate, still to stay with him and doesn’t run away?

  25. Peter Schellinck

    What is domestic violence? This is a hard question for many to answer and is normally the consequence of abuse. Just as each person has a definition of love, they also have a definition of abuse. The definition I prefer is: “When you are forced to do something against your will, it is abuse which at home can lead to domestic violence.”

    It may happen once or it could be ongoing. Abuse can be one large event, abuse can be smaller incidents strung together. While one event may leave you feeling violated, sometimes those small violations add up to a lifestyle that is unhealthy for everyone involved. It can happen anywhere.

    When your partner, your boss, a police officer, or someone else is in an authority position over you and they take advantage of that position, it often leaves you feeling violated. When it happens in your personal life, it becomes even more difficult to cope with. Abuse can escalate into the verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual realms. When abuse becomes a pattern, it almost seems impossible to move on.

    Some relationships have abusive episodes. A strike, a shove, a kick. It isn’t right, but it is isolated. So what is the difference between an abusive episode and an abusive relationship? It is about frequency, consequences, and responsibility. It’s about intentions. Despite the consequences, an abuser keeps abusing. They refuse to take responsibility, shifting blame for the abuse to the victim himself or herself. 


    Abuse is about power and control. Whether it is rape, spousal abuse, child molestation, it is about control. Controlling others is how an abuser controls their life. They use a variety of methods to obtain this control, but what it all amounts to is power and control. Living in an abusive relationship is life on a roller coaster and often results in commonly called “Domestic violence”. 



    Abuse has a cycle within the individual relationship. For a time things seem to be okay, things get better, you have hope. Behind the scenes, the whole time the tension is building, building, building, and then suddenly the decline hits. The cycle repeats over and over, the good times are fewer, the buildups are shorter, and the abusive episodes escalate. Just like the roller coaster, only this one doesn’t end when the ride is over, it just keeps going.

    Hence, yes, we do need an EU directive against domestic violence, which has no boarders and is the same in all members’ states. Be a normal human being and stop abuse, eradicate domestic violence please.

  26. J. Abildgaard

    Thanks to Peter Schellinck…you’re right and, we agree 100%

  27. Eduart Nano

    Me e leht sht t bashkosh dy copa hekuri se dy copa buke por ka dhe nj gj se n punim buka punohet me shpejt e me leht se hekuri

  28. Paul

    Yes Peter Schellinck is correct in his analysis of domestic abuse but I disagree with him when he says we do need a directive

    My earlier question still stands, can anyone explain just how an EU directive is going to achieve anything?
    Even the mighty EU cannot force someone to report an abusive partner and when they do it is down to law enforcement at a national level to go and sort out

    Shuffling a document around in Brussels isn’t going to stop one bit of abuse…

  29. catherine benning

    A notorious woman has recently been incarcerated in my country for submitting to an abusive husband.

    It went like this, for some twenty years he had dominated her life, she loved him deeply, had his children and took to her heart his children from a previous marriage. He was ambitious and needed a wife he could present as all things to all people. She was brilliant academically, worked, seemingly was a wonderful mother and wife. They were well off, she had help. His job was powerful and he wanted to rise high in it, Maybe even lead the country. So, she was bullied and feared he would desert her and his family if she didn’t do what he wanted. He had had affairs and she was not young or beautiful. She was homely and passable.

    One day, ofter he went abroad to some kind of meeting, he flew back to the UK. By this time he was in another affair, with a woman who is bisexual and played a deadly game at moving him against his wife. She left her female live in lover for him. He had better prospects. And in his race to see her, he sped along the motorway from the airport and was charged with speeding and given points, which would lead to removal of his driving license. This would be an inconvenience to him but more, it disturbed his idea of what it would do to his reputation and career.

    So, when he got home he told his long suffering wife she was to take his points for the speeding. She refused, He fought her over it for many weeks, maybe even months. He tormented her with abandonment. Until finally he came home and threw the paperwork down and told her she had to sign it. She had no option was his threat. She cried but foolishly signed the paperwork to get him off the hook.

    Then one day, after he got the job he wanted above the one he had, he telephoned her and from that distance told her he was not returning to her. He wanted his relationship with this latest lover and that she would have to go and get on with life. She was devastated. But slowly her sadness and disbelief turned to anger and vengeance. She had four children. What was she going to do, academic or not, emotion ignores the intelligence and tears at the heart.

    So, after he acutely embarrassed her by telling the world in newspapers he had left his wife and was with this homely woman he’s met. The wife felt betrayed and small. So she told a friend of hers who was a journalist and they, like him, let the world know he had cheated on his driving record, that she had been pushed by loyalty and caring for her family to allow him to demand her obedience in the matter.

    Well, they didn’t believe her, she was too clever the police decided, she was culpable as she had been revengeful and wanted to get back at him. That she was to suffer as he was going to. They charged her with criminality and took her to court. Where she was tried twice, the first jury not reaching a verdict. And because of the newspaper pressure they jailed her for 8 months. He also got 8 months.

    I see that as emotional brutality, blackmail and abuse, but, this woman went to jail for submitting to his emotional demands on her.

    What changes in legislation would that have had any effect on? Can anyone tell me? Because the bruises were internal no one had any sympathy for her.

    Oh, and he was a British Member of Parliament. She a brilliant Greek woman and convicted and punished because, she was said to be too clever to be coerced or blackmailed into such a thing. She was strong and able to stand on her own two feet, the papers said. Yet, what he did was plainly abuse against her as a woman, mother and wife. Yet she languishes in jail.

    How about those onions.

  30. J. Abildgaard

    Paul,

    Yes – we do need a directive and, we need it very, very much…IF the directive include the punishment of civil servants within ALL authorities in Europe..ALL the way up to and, inclusive the office of the EU Ombudsman!!!

    Emotional abuse/violence destroy people 100% and, within these offives, this is exactly what they use…..in order to :

    1. Steal your money

    2. Abuse you emotionally until you either give up or actually become suicidal which is the exact purpose of these creeps!!!

    Just ask the 500.000 European people who every single year have their lives totally destroyed by the ”programmed” civil servants who – because of the ”smart” Dane who came up with this very sick idea, emotionally abuse and destroy all those people – in order to steal their money….this person needs mental treatment…not my words, but the psychologist who listened to the violence committed against me and, thousands of other people in 2009/10 in Denmark and, all the other EU Countries!!

    This Paul is very, very close to – what I would call – genocide!! BUT, because it is not visible, as emotional domestic violence very seldom is…nobody is punished and, the civil servants continue again and again and again….some of them are actually sick themselves…abusing clients every day…day in and day out has it’s price!!

    When Denmark breached against me…I knew, simply because I was born in Denmark, I know the horrible ”welfare” system through other people who have tried this in Denmark… I have worked with this Regulation and, know it very well so, I taped them and, I still do every time I see/meet them…my case is ongoing…

    I have never in my life heard evil as I have on these tape recordings from Denmark – in which 5 civil servants in Denmark breach all laws on this Planet 100% systematically again and again (for more than on and a half hour)…wanted me to break down and, wanted me to pay for their deliberate ”mistakes” …I did not and, I will never…..I am NOT asking anyone to try and do the same…you have to know exactly what you do and, you need to be extremely strong psychological…I could do this, simply because I knew exactly what I was facing BUT, a person 25 years old would never be able to fight against 5 civil servants with more than 20 years experience each – in exactly this kind of violence….

    This is one of the major reasons we need a directive and, the directive needs to cover Europeans in a way, so NO civil servant has the possibility to destroy him or her unpunished as happens today….every single day….

    Yes…violence between men and women is a very large issue mentally and physical and, even if there are existing directives, they have to be up-dated….!!! Nobody should face any type of violence without being able to punish the person/department who abuse/violate them…correct!?

    I really hope the EU ministers read – and understand – our debate here and, I hope they are ready to realize that ALL this has to STOP and, it has to stop NOW…not tomorrow or in some years but NOW EU!!

  31. Anita Mátray

    YES, we need an EU directive against domestic violence. It is a major step towards achieving gender equality.

    We already know the evidence. Although, men can be victims of domestic violence, evidence shows that the majority of victims of domestic violence are women and girls. Statistics of the World Bank show that worldwide domestic violence is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women and girls as cancer and even a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined. Moreover, one in three women around the world has ever experienced domestic violence. In spite of the existing evidence, there is no universally accepted definition of domestic violence.

    Based on statistics and expertise of transnational advocacy networks, domestic violence has come to be recognized by the supranational organizations of the EU and UN, academics such as Watts and Zimmerman, Heise et al., the World Bank and the World Health Organization as a serious threat to achieving gender equality, a human rights violation, a form of discrimination and one of the forms of violence against women. Members of the EU and UN agreed on these definitions and on combating all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, for example in the CEDAW, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and Council of Europe documents. But, when it comes to acting according to what was agreed on, many member states do not deliver, as the MAGEEQ research uncovered.

    This means, that the well meant aspirations of the EU are no guarantees for a successful domestic violence policy in European member states. It is partly because of the internal negotiation processes in member states, and partly because relatively little EU legislation exists that deals specifically with domestic violence and the legislation on domestic violence is restricted to soft law, contrary to gender inequality legislation in economic fields. This carries the great risk that domestic violence can be ranked as low priority issue in member states, systematic policy on domestic violence can be evaded and/or domestic violence policy can turn out to be gender insensitive.

    This became a reality in many European member states, for example in Hungary, as findings of Krizsán et al. showed. In spite of successful agenda setting of the feminist movements and ongoing pressure of many European feminist and women’s NGOs, domestic violence has not yet been taken seriously by governments and domestic violence policy has become gender insensitive in many European member states. In many cases domestic violence is not even about women any more, while the majority of victims are women, according to statistics.

    This is exactly why we need EU directives. EU directives against domestic violence could make member states deal with the problem of domestic violence, because directives lay down certain end results that must be achieved in every member state. This means, that national authorities have to adapt their laws and policies to meet these goals. Therefore, member states have to explicitly pronounce the problem of domestic violence and make it a priority. Also, they have to realize a systematic domestic violence policy and laws to combat the problem. But above all, the EU directive needs to be gender sensitive to make member states adapt a gender sensitive domestic violence policy, in line with international standards, such as the CEDAW and Council of Europe documents.

    It is very important, that international and local feminist NGOs are involved in the process of EU directives and its national translation, at least for four reasons. First, these NGOs are in many cases the agenda setters of domestic violence. Second, they have grass-root expertise and experience on the issue and they are the international and national trend watchers. Third, they work and think in line with international standards, such as the CEDAW. Fourth, they are an important countervailing power, pressure and voice to international and national governments and oil to the engine of democracy.

    At last, but not least, a directive leaves room-to-maneuver for member states on the choice of form and methods to combat domestic violence. With other words, member states are free to decide how they achieve the results on elimination of domestic violence. So, this is a win-win situation for both the EU and member states. But most importantly, a win-win to men and women, as they both could enjoy a violence free society, economic improvement, less health care costs, more female voters, female participation to labor market and education, less child victims, and healthy and equal relationships between women and men.

  32. Paul

    “Domestic violence” does kill an lot of people worldwide but the EU has no influence on third world countries where violence within the family is commonplace, using worldwide statistics to promote EU ideals is meaningless

    Violence is violence full stop. Hitting your partner is just as illegal as hitting someone in the street so why does it need any specific legislation?

    I repeat yet again, the issue with violence within the family is one of people not wanting to report it to the police and no matter how much time and taxpayers money is spent on drawing up EU legislation you will not make those who are reluctant to report abusive partner, change their mind

    In the UK we already have TV commercials telling people how to report “Domestic Abuse” if the power of the Media does not convince people to report it then just what will some document drafted in Brussels be able to achieve?

    I’m not belittling the issue at all, I just do not see what practical good any more legislation will do to stop abuse …… so can anyone tell me?

  33. Mariana Manolova

    Yes,yes, yes!!! In some countries it is a great problem! It has been swept under the carpet for a very long time! The EU coutries need such a directive!!!

  34. Carlos Villafranca

    I agree @ Pavlos Vasileiadis. Some kinds of violence are given more media cover and protection than others. It’s not fair. There are violent women as well, and violence against kids, homosexuals, interethnic violence… It happens every day too.

  35. Christos Mouzeviris

    education is the key solution to everything.. both for men and women.. our youths should be taught gender equality, sex education that will include education on homosexuality, the differences between the genders and so on… women must also realize that they are the “hand that rocks the cradle”, so if they want future generations of men to respect women, it is also up to them to raise boys, that will become men that are respectful towards women..if women do not have respect for themselves, or accept the stereotypes that exist in our societies and pass them on to their children at home, then nothing will change…

  36. Ivayla Arabadzhieva

    I think personally that there should be more strict legal measures against the domestic violence. There are many women that suffer from that in every country and nobody even knows how many they are actually. There are many that even will not speak about it. I am one of them. Many years ago I was Erasmus student in Greece and I had a boyfriend there. He was beating me to black and I got two times in hospital, because of his craziness. I complained to the police, but he had stolen my documents and told the police that I am a prostitute. The police did nothing, because he was Greek, and I was not. Both countries are EU members. I wished there was a special EU legacy for cases like this, so this man will not go free on the streets and terrorizes more women. EU should work on more legacy especially on the cases of couples from different EU countries. The pressure over the domestic legacy should be stronger and when we talk about equality on the labor market between men and women we should not forget that women also give birth to children and that cost a lot of their career and time and energy. Men should respect it more as well as the law. It is wrong to say that “women should be equal with the men”. Why? Because that means that women should try to be as men. That is not realistic to biological reasons.

  37. Ivayla Arabadzhieva

    I think personally that there should be more strict legal measures against the domestic violence. There are many women that suffer from that in every country and nobody even knows how many they are actually. There are many that even will not speak about it. I am one of them. Many years ago I was Erasmus student in Greece and I had a boyfriend there. He was beating me to black and I got two times in hospital, because of his craziness. I complained to the police, but he had stolen my documents and told the police that I am a prostitute. The police did nothing, because he was Greek, and I was not. Both countries are EU members. I wished there was a special EU legacy for cases like this, so this man will not go free on the streets and terrorizes more women. EU should work on more legacy especially on the cases of couples from different EU countries. The pressure over the domestic legacy should be stronger and when we talk about equality on the labor market between men and women we should not forget that women also give birth to children and that cost a lot of their career and time and energy. Men should respect it more as well as the law. It is wrong to say that “women should be equal with the men”. Why? Because that means that women should try to be as men. That is not realistic to biological reasons.

  38. Christos Mouzeviris

    Ivayla why did you stay in such relationship? Or why did you enter in a relationship with such person in the first place.. It is something that I do not understand.. If I was a woman, and the man hit me the first time, I would break up the relationship right then and there.. This is what I do understand about women.. Where do you find men like these, and why do you enter a relationship with them… I agree with you that laws must be extended and developed and all other things that you said.. People like him possible come from a family that abuse by the father, the mother or both was the norm, and so they continue what they know best and think it is normal.. Violence.. Perhaps they saw their mother being hit by their father at home, or the mother herself was abusive towards her children, or she allowed the father to be abusive towards their children, or both parents were abusive towards them..And so the circle never ends.. The issue here is, how do we stop this circle and empower women to have more confidence and economic independence, that if they enter into a relationship with such people, and I wonder why they do in the first place, to be confident and proud enough, but also financially independent to break away.. Protect their children from violent men, but also stop being abusive towards their children, to retaliate for the violence they receive from the man that they “love” or are dependent on financially… I think that women that enter such relationships have very low self esteem and believe that that is what they deserve and they do not deserve better. Or themselves have grown in an abusive family and they are just accustomed to violence.. Perhaps more state intervention is needed to family affairs, but then again people will object to such thing.. Maybe a more district state intervention is needed, by the establishment of agencies to support families in need and of course education…

    • Christos Mouzeviris

      sorry meant discreet state intervention..typo!! apologies..

  39. Carlos Villafranca

    That is so true. We may ask for political regulations, but problem comes from within. As long as many women are still atracted to men with stereotypes of being phisically strong, overprotective and dominant, same problem will persist. If those women do not respect herselfs, nobody would do.

  40. Bogdan Cristea

    As long as the directive is gender-neutral and not written in such a way that a man accused of violence is automatically presumed guilty because ?why would the woman make it up??, then such a piece of legislation is more than welcome.

  41. Ivayla Arabadzhieva

    Christos, I had no idea that he is like this, because the fist two months he was very nice, as well as his family. After something changed in him. He was educated man with a good family. The first time he beat me (he never hits, he beats) I gathered my things and run away, but he found me. I had no place to hide and no documents, because he stole them. I got help from his family and friends to confront him, because there was no run away. I had no support from the authorities. I was alone and scared, only 21 years old. Whenever you are physically and psychologically abused by someone you feel like a child left alone in the dark and cold winter in the middle of a mountain woods with hungry beasts around you. The trauma never goes away. It is not only a matter of education, but of control. Some men like it and if they cannot dominate you in another way then they raise their fists against your face. There must be harsh legislative measures against the abusers, and hopefully if that happens there will be less of them.

  42. Ivayla Arabadzhieva

    Christos, I had no idea that he is like this, because the fist two months he was very nice, as well as his family. After something changed in him. He was educated man with a good family. The first time he beat me (he never hits, he beats) I gathered my things and run away, but he found me. I had no place to hide and no documents, because he stole them. I got help from his family and friends to confront him, because there was no run away. I had no support from the authorities. I was alone and scared, only 21 years old. Whenever you are physically and psychologically abused by someone you feel like a child left alone in the dark and cold winter in the middle of a mountain woods with hungry beasts around you. The trauma never goes away. It is not only a matter of education, but of control. Some men like it and if they cannot dominate you in another way then they raise their fists against your face. There must be harsh legislative measures against the abusers, and hopefully if that happens there will be less of them.

  43. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    A todos os membros do Debate Europe os estados membros da UE não podem estar de costas voltadas aos direitos liberdades segurança de cidadania a Europa deve alcançar uma Europa livre da prostituição e de criminalizaçãhá que procurar debates de ideiaspara a industria do sexo há que travar a forma de exploração e a violência sobre as mulheres que façam actividades dessa natureza A legalização das mulheres que praticam essas actividades em todos os estados da UE os mandatários dos estados da Europa não podem estar fechados dentro do seus circuitos há que criarem uma nova estratégica de politicas para a industria do sexo há que desenvolver polticas de direitos e liberdades segurança de cidadania dentro da Europa As mulheres não podem ser sacrificadas dentro do altar da liberdade de direitos de cidadania

  44. Christos Mouzeviris

    I agree that abusers must be punished.. My comments were not in any way a personal criticism towards you or your case.. But what I meant as “education” was not an academic education.. You could be a doctor, but if psychologically you are unstable you will still be violent.. Something in the mind of this man was not right.. Perhaps he grew up in a family that violence was accepted.. You never know what goes on in his family behind closed doors, or how he was raised.. We should change the whole education system and the stereotypes that portray men and women as they are under our current social models, role models and stereotypes..In Greece and in Europe in general.. That is what I meant.. You could have gone to your embassy for assistance to retrieve your papers, the police under current laws can not intervene too much in family affairs.. Sadly.. They can only issue restrain orders.. This may solve the problem of one abusive relationship but it does not stop the phenomenon in the long term..It has been going on for too long in my opinion and punishing one man here or there does not make it go away.. Not that they shouldn’t be punished these men.. Yet we as society, all of us, must take action collectively, both men and women, to raise children that do not think that violence is acceptable at any form. And our schools and governments must play an active role in this effort. Glad that you got out of such messy relationship.. Regards.

  45. Christos Mouzeviris

    The myth of a “good family”.. We all know what that often implies.. Shameful secrets behind closed doors… Struggles between the parents to gain influence or power over another, or show to the society a fake facade of appropriateness, morals, happiness and accomplishment. And within these struggles, both male and female children are forced to comply with certain stereotypes, to be a “good wife” or “be a real man”… And it is those stereotypes that do most of the damage..In their effort to assert themselves in the family, in the eyes of a domineering father or mother figure and in the cultural stereotypes of the society they live in, men and women often find themselves at odds with each other, in an ever lasting struggle of dominance and role playing.. Perhaps if we get rid of those stereotypes, men won’t beat women when they can not assert themselves, or prove to their mom, dad, friends and family that they are “real men”.. Perhaps it is time to say, it is ok to be weak even if you are male, or it is ok to take the lead even if you are female.. Create new role models, that do not bow to any gender or sexual orientation..That is what our schools and education system must start passing to our youths.. Only then our societies will change and the disgraceful phenomenon of family violence will stop..

  46. Jacqueline Galvez

    Europe is full of Muslim communities which treat women as second class – no- third class citizens and allowed to get away with this, maybe they should start work there.

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