A Directive for Change: An Urgent Appeal to EU Negotiators to Adopt a Strong Directive on Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence

The Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) Network and the EuroCentralAsian Lesbian* Community (EL*C) urgently call upon the negotiators of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Member States, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. As we approach the crucial final negotiations of this mandate on the Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence (COM (2022) 105 final, 8 March 2022), it is imperative that the adopted text robustly addresses the needs of women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence against women. This Directive represents a landmark opportunity to advance gender equality, reinforce the protection of victims’ rights within the European Union, and acknowledge the indispensable role of civil society organizations in providing prevention, protection, and support services to victims of Violence against Women (VAW) and Domestic Violence (DV).

The WAVE Network, uniting over 1,600 women’s organizations and Women’s Specialist Services (WSS) across 46 European countries, alongside the EL*C, representing over 100 organizations led by and focusing on LBTIQ women and non-binary persons, stand together in this call. We emphasize the need for a comprehensive and inclusive approach in the Directive. The voices and experiences of women and girls, particularly those most vulnerable and marginalized, must be at the forefront of this legislative process.

This Directive is not just a policy document; it is a beacon of hope and a tool for real change. It is a chance to set a precedent in the EU for effectively tackling VAW and DV. We urge all parties involved in the negotiations to seize this moment to make a significant difference in the lives of women across Europe. Let this Directive be a testament to our collective commitment to a safer, more equitable, and just society.

Your decisions now will echo in the lives of millions. Let us stand united in the fight against violence and for the rights and dignity of every individual. The time for action is now. Click here to read the full joint WAVE-EL*C statement.