When it comes to combating violence against women, I feel that we have to engage ourselves stronger than ever in a comprehensive approach, which should be twofold. On the one hand we need to make sure all the necessary that all the legal, judicial and physical means for the protection of victims, offering them safety, counselling, support, and assistance during their reintegration to the labour markets - is in place. That is of paramount importance. A lot has been done both at the European and at national levels, but more needs and can be done if we are to eradicate this wide spread and continuous violation of human rights, which even our developed countries so far have not been able to eliminate from our societies. That is why the European Parliament will never stop calling on the Commission to propose a Directive on Combating Violence against Women along the lines of the Istambul Convention. On the other hand we have to step-up in creating an extensive and multi-fold network of preventative measures, which can be supported by the EU funding. In my view, that should include mandatory psychological consultations for perpetrators, which should start as soon as victims are separated and their safety is ensured. And, most importantly, we have to teach our young generation of gender equality, to make this principle their own. And to teach them that violence cannot be tolerated, it has no place in our societies. That is a task for our educational systems. Because future starts today.
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė. Vice-chair of parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committe