Duncan Lewis

Romford Office

Crime and Civil cases

house 40 staff

EU passes regulation for a common protection order for victims of domestic violence

Date: (24 May 2013)    |    

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An EU wide protection order of the European Commission’s proposal has been endorsed by an overwhelming majority by the European Parliament.
The new regulation would mean that citizens (in most cases women) who have suffered domestic violence can rely on a restraining order obtained in their home country wherever they are in the EU – the protection would be applicable in any EU country they travel to.
It would mean that the EU law would benefit women in particular to those women in Europe who have suffered physical violence at least once in their life. There are around one in five women in Europe who suffer domestic violence according to surveys.
EU’s Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that an estimated 1 in 5 women in Europe suffer some kind of violence at least once in their lives. And sadly, the most common form of physical violence was inflicted by someone close to the women usually an intimate partner.
She thanked the European Protection order and said the victims of domestic violence can breathe a sigh of relief. Now they can rely on a restraining order obtained in their home country irrespective of their place of stay in the EU.
The protection will travel with the citizens. It was a tangible example of how the EU was helping to reinforce the rights of victims all over Europe.
The draft Regulation would now pass to the Council for formal adoption, expected at the meeting of European Justice Ministers in June.
Once the Regulation is adopted and published in the EU's Official Journal (the EU's Statute Book), the focus would move to implementation and ensuring that Members States put in place both the Regulation and the Directive on victims' rights so that victims of crime and victims of violence can benefit from protection in their everyday lives.
On 18 May 2011, the European Commission proposed a package of measures to ensure a minimum level of rights, support and protection for victims across the EU, no matter where they come from or live.
This included a proposal for a Regulation on mutual recognition of civil law protection measures. The second proposal, for a Directive on victims' rights, was adopted on 4 October 2012 by the Council of Ministers after the European Parliament endorsed it with an overwhelming majority on 12 September 2012. The directive sets out minimum rights for victims, wherever they are in the EU. It will ensure that:
• victims are treated with respect and police, prosecutors and judges are trained to properly deal with them;
• victims get information on their rights and their case in a way they understand;
• victim support exists in every Member State;
• victims can participate in proceedings if they want and are helped to attend the trial;
• vulnerable victims are identified – such as children, victims of rape, or those with disabilities – and are properly protected;
• victims are protected while police investigate the crime and during court proceedings.
Member States now have three years to implement the provisions of the Directive into their national laws.

 

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