EU establishes helpline number and calls to end violence against women worldwide

EU establishes helpline number and calls to end violence against women worldwide
European Commission press conference on 25 November

The spokespersons of the European Commission marked on Friday the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, dressed in orange scarves and ties, and announced the EU-wide harmonized number for helplines for victims of violence against women – 116016.

Women who are victims of violence will be able to call the same number across the EU to get advice and support. So far, 15 Member States have committed to connecting their existing helpline for victims of violence against women to this number. These are Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The deadline for Member States to reserve the common EU number to connect to national helplines is end of April 2023.

The College of Commissioners were dressed with orange scarves already at its weekly meeting on Tuesday. In a joint statement, the Commission and High Representative Josep Borrell said that violence against women happens in every country.

“The facts are shocking - in the EU and across the world, one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence. One in five girls today are victims of child sexual abuse. Online violence is on the rise, with one in two young women experiencing gender-based cyber violence.”

The statement draws particular attention to violence against women in conflict and war areas such as Ukraine, Iran, and Afghanistan.  Women face violence also in humanitarian crises from Myanmar to northern Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Update: The article has been updated to include the list of EU Member States that so far have committed in writing to connect their existing helplines to the EU-wide number.

The Brussels Times

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