The European Union has reached a provisional agreement to combat gender-based violence, spearheaded by Maltese EU Commissioner Helena Dalli.
The directive encompasses regulations to prevent rape, address cyber violence, and bolster support for victims.
Despite concerns about the exclusion of legislation on consent-based rape, the directive introduces EU-wide standards for criminalising gender-based violence and improving access to justice.
It expands the list of aggravating circumstances for offences, includes provisions against female genital mutilation and forced marriage, and addresses online crimes such as revenge porn.
The framework enhances victim safety and health, emphasises intersectional discrimination, and streamlines reporting mechanisms. While the directive awaits formal approval from the European Parliament and Council, member states have three years to implement the provisions.
Additionally, it mandates essential services like shelters and campaigns to raise awareness. The directive represents a significant step forward in ensuring equal protection for women across the EU, reinforcing the rights and safety of all citizens.