EU and Council of Europe: Even at war, Ukraine shows its commitment to ending violence against women
November 25, 2022

EU and Council of Europe: Even at war, Ukraine shows its commitment to ending violence against women

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, and the accompanying 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform (EUAM Ukraine) in Ukraine, and the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine reaffirmed their commitment to defend the rights of women and girls in Ukraine, and for all Ukrainians to live free from gender-based violence and all violence.

The statement says the signatories are appalled by the numerous reports of conflict-related sexual violence committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine, and support efforts at Ukrainian national and international level to hold those responsible for war crimes, including for conflict related sexual violence, accountable.

“Even in conditions of war, Ukraine has shown its commitment to ending violence against women and domestic violence by ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, often called the Istanbul Convention,” says the statement.

At the same time, the statement said, the stigma of GBV and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) remains high in Ukraine. “Addressing stigma and feelings of guilt is an important element in assisting victims as it can prevent cases from being reported to law enforcement. This will take time, but it should not be delayed. Stigma is ingrained in the communities in which victims live, so it is important to address it at the local level,” says the statement.

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