Perpetrators of sexual violence must be brought to justice, says PACE President Kyriakides

Women must lift the taboo and speak out in cases of sexual harassment, rape and domestic abuse PACE President Stella Kyriakides said on Wednesday, adding that it is high time for perpetrators to be brought to justice, named and shamed.

According to a PACE announcement, Kyriakides said that the upcoming International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November is an opportunity for all MPs to make a plea for a zero tolerance policy towards any form of violence and to end impunity.

To this end, we must continue to relentlessly promote the ratification and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence � the so-called Istanbul Convention in our national parliaments, Kyriakides added.

She said, moreover, that sexual harassment, rape and domestic abuse of women are the relics of a society based on historically unequal power relations between women and men. It is high time for shame and fear to switch sides, Kyriakides said, urging women to lift the taboo and speak out.

As parliamentarians, it is our responsibility not only to make sure that all victims of gender-based violence receive all the support they need but also to step up actions to encourage victims to file complaints and prevent violence, including within our parliaments, PACE General Rapporteur on violence against women Gulsun Bilgehan (Turkey,SOC) stressed, adding her voice to the President of the Assembly on this occasion.

I therefore welcome the upcoming conduct of a regional research on sexism, harassment and violence against women in parliaments in Europe by the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) and PACE, which will start in January 2018, she continued.

I hope this study will contribute to lift barriers of shame in our parliaments and support the victims in their rehabilitation processes. ‘No’ means ‘no’, regardless of the context, the location or the perpetrator, Bilgehan concluded.

In June 2017, PACE adopted a resolution on sexual violence and harassment of women in public space on the basis of a report by Francoise Hetto-Gaasch (Luxembourg, EPP/CD).

Source: Cyprus News Agency