Violence against women – our response
According to a study published today by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, one in three women in Europe has experienced physical or sexual violence. To help address this problem, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have made fighting domestic and gender-based violence a priority for the Grants.
According to the findings by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), an estimated 13 million women in the EU experienced physical violence in the course of the 12 months prior to the survey, while some 3.7 million women had experienced sexual violence. Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are contributing close to €25 million to prevent and tackle violence against women and girls. Combating domestic and gender-based violence is included as a specific area of support under the Grants in almost all beneficiary countries. In addition, projects dealing with these issues also receive funding through separate NGO Programmes.
Our programmes focus on supporting projects tackling the causes and deal with the consequences of violence against women.
In the Czech Republic, various services for victims are established, such as telephone hotlines and crises and advice centres. In Slovakia 15 new counselling centres will open, as well as more than 200 new places in women’s shelters.
In Romania, existing shelters are receiving support to improve their services. Funding is also provided to train 250 professionals working in fields related to domestic and gender-based violence.
Our support is not limited to helping victims of gender-based and domestic violence. We also focus on preventing such instances from happening in the first place. In Latvia, for instance, funding is given to the NGO Establishment Centre Dardedze to organise anti-bullying campaigns, and in Portugal we support training on sexual harassment in the work place.
Working in partnership
Our efforts to combat domestic and gender-based violence are carried out in close cooperation with the Council of Europe and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. The Council of Europe, which has long-standing experience in setting European standards in this field, is involved in several related programmes. Its Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence provides valuable recommendations, guidance and direction. Recently, we have also entered into partnership with EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, with a view to gather forces on human rights, including domestic and gender-based violence. The recommendations from FRA’s study will inform the Grants’ programmes in their continued efforts to tackle violence against women in Europe. In addition, several Norwegian public organisations are involved as donor programme partners.
FRA presented their survey today. Tomorrow, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are gathering representatives from FRA and the Council of Europe, EEA and Norway Grants beneficiaries alongside other European stakeholders working on gender-based violence related issues for a seminar. The event will present the Grants’ efforts in the field and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to learn and exchange experiences, as well as initiating a first discussion on how to translate the survey findings and recommendations into concrete actions. Read the full programme here.