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Reliable Domestic Violence Figures: Europe Needs To Know Says MEP

October 15, 2008 5:41 PM

Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynne has said that Member States needs to ensure that there are clearer, more reliable statistics on domestic violence in order to better understand and deal with the problem.

Her comments came after a public hearing on domestic violence was held in the European Parliament this week.

Figures from studies undertaken by the World Health Organisation suggest that at least 30% of women between the ages of 16 and 67 have been subjected to domestic violence at least once in their lives. However, many experts believe that the problem is hugely underestimated.

Liz Lynne, who is a member of the European Parliament's Sub- Committee on Human Rights, said that without proper information it is difficult to properly address the problem.

"The European Member States and the EU as a whole desperately need to tackle the issue of domestic violence head on. Unfortunately, we cannot do this effectively until we have the necessary data to see what the specific causes of this violence are, where and how they are occurring and what can be done to prevent them.

"We need an awareness camping throughout Europe, urging women to come forward and make cases of domestic violence known. We need to show that the EU will stand up for them and that we can solve the problem.

"It is also very important to remember that it is not just women who suffer domestic violence. We need to also address the problem of violence against men, which is often over looked in these discussions.

"I am pleased that this debate is being had within the Parliament, and I believe it is very important that we continue to raise the issue of domestic violence and not let it slip into the background. I, along with my fellow MEPs must now do all we can to continue to seek an end to the horrific examples of domestic violence that occur each and every year."