The Opinion stresses the urgency to tackle gender-based violence, by action at all levels of government.
In particular, the Opinion highlights the role of the local and regional authorities in combating such violence by putting in place concrete measures and actions, and by enhancing awareness-raising and education to improve gender equality.
The expected impact of this OIO is centered on influencing the EP and EC positions on the urgency to combat gender-based violence and recognising the pivotal role of the local and regional authorities in implementing any such measures.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- stresses that violence prevention is about ensuring that violence does not occur in the first place. Knowledge about gender stereotypes, hegemonic masculinity, female perspectives and experiences, coercive control and GBV form an important basis for effective violence prevention; highlights that prevention needs to target and include men, promote gender equality, and counter destructive standards of masculinity and stereotypes about gender and sexuality;
- stresses that a victim-centred and rights-centred approach to victims needs to be reinforced at all levels of government; highlights the importance of comprehensive training for professionals likely to be the first point of contact for victims to ensure that they feel safe, respected, protected; emphasises that LRAs are often the first instance to respond to the needs of victims, ensuring that they are cared for by the local social, medical and mental health services and protected by law enforcement;
- accentuates that lasting social change and gender equality can be fostered by awareness-raising and education campaigns that attack the root causes of GBV. Thus, the primary goal should be to address gender inequalities, roles and power dynamics as well as to educate about consent;
- calls for all LRAs to put in place accessible, survivor-centred reporting systems, such as helplines and confidential advisors and to establish multilingual information platforms; and to acknowledge the importance of urban design and transport planning as means to create safe spaces that can help lower the rate of attacks in public spaces; acknowledges that GBV is not only taking place within households or in public spaces but also in the digital space where the lack of regulation and systematic approach has led to widespread GBV and threats;
- calls on all Member States to collect comparable, reliable, high-quality, disaggregated data on GBV; and on the European Commission to swiftly launch the EU network on the prevention of GBV, including LRAs and allowing for an exchange of good practice on prevention, education and training initiatives, coupled with a guide on available EU funding for the latter; urges the European Commission and the Member States to implement gender budgeting in the MFF and national budgets, as an instrument to improve gender equality; and to allocate sufficient, long-term, sustainable financial and human resources in order to adequately prevent and combat all forms of GBV.