Members' Research Service By / March 8, 2023

Combating violence against women and domestic violence [EU Legislation in Progress]

Gender-based violence against women (GBVAW) encompasses physical, sexual and psychological violence and can take many forms, such as harassment, stalking, rape, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, forced sterilisation and femicide.

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Written by Rosamund Shreeves (1st edition).

Violence directed against a woman because she is a woman, or that affects women disproportionately (‘gender-based violence against women’) is a violation of fundamental rights, and a major obstacle to gender equality in all EU Member States. Despite increased attention, national legislation does not offer equal protection for women against all forms of gender-based violence across the EU, and there are significant gaps in the measures adopted at EU level.

On 8 March 2022, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on combating violence against women and domestic violence, to enshrine minimum standards in EU law for criminalising certain forms of gender-based violence, improve access to justice, protection and support for victims, ensure coordination between relevant services and prevent these types of crime. On 12 January 2023, Parliament’s joint rapporteurs from the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) presented their draft report to a joint meeting of the two committees. On 28 February 2023, a further joint committee meeting took note of 1 481 amendments tabled on the draft report.


Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating violence against women and domestic violence
Committees responsible:Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), jointly under Rule 58COM(2022) 245 final
Rapporteur:Frances Fitzgerald Frances (EPP, Ireland)
Evin Incir (S&D, Sweden)
Shadow rapporteurs:Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on equal footing
– formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Committee vote on draft report

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