Fighting violence against women

2022: The line has been crossed

Stop gender-based violence

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women PES Women relaunched its campaign and manifesto “The line has been crossed – Zero tolerance zone for gender-based violence”, which gained extensive support in 2021.

As part of the campaign, we invite you to check our updated political manifesto “Zero-Tolerance Zone: A Europe Free from Gender-Based Violence”. It underlines our demands based on three pillars:

  • a strong legal framework,
  • adequate funding and
  • changing mindsets.

PES Women has been calling for a Directive on violence against women for almost a decade, a demand which was included in the 2021 version of this manifesto.

In 2022, the EU Commission made a proposal for a Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence, led by Commissioner Helena Dalli. PES Women calls for a swift and progressive outcome of the inter-institutional negotiations on the Directive, together with the extension of the list of EU crimes to cover all forms of gender-based violence.

Press release
The line has been crossed: we demande zero tolerance for gender-based violence, 25 November 2022

Past campaigns

2021: The line has been crossed

Violence against women can take on many forms – harassment, cyberbullying, femicide, sexist hate speech, intimate partner violence, assault, revenge porn, stalking/cyberstalking, reproductive coercion and denial of safe and legal abortion, female genital mutilation, sexual violence, exploitation, rape, psychological violence – however, one of the most severe forms of gender-based violence can be femicide, a term used to describe the killing of women and girls because of their gender. 38 % of all femicides are committed by intimate partners.

In 2021 PES Women launched the campaign the line has been crossed. Violence against women and domestic violence is one of the most widespread violations of fundamental rights. It’s time to take preventive action, because if the police has put up its barrier tape, it is already too late.

Press release
The line has been crossed. Europe must become a zero-tolerance zone for gender-based violence, 25 November 2021

2020: Violence during COVID confinement

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in 2020, PES Women joined UN Women and the international community in starting the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an uncertain time for all of society. But for many women, lockdown and confinement have also cast another shadow, that of increased gender-based violence. It is not a new phenomenon, but the COVID-19 crisis has aggravated an already unacceptable problem.

That is why we asked people to “see the pandemic behind the pandemic”. We reiterate our call to end all forms of gender-based violence and to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention, which offers the most comprehensive legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence.


2019: Stop online violence against women

In 2019 PES Women launched the campaign “Notorious Anti-Violence” to address online violence and harassment. 

Check all the campaign videos here.

Online violence through social media is an everyday experience for women and girls. In Europe, 9 million girls have experienced some kind of cyber violence by the time they are 15 years old. Globally, women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online. This is not acceptable. It never has been.

If we do nothing, millions of women will continue to experience psychological, emotional and physical harm. This is a crisis. We cannot allow perpetrators to bully and silence women in online public spaces, to lure women into violent situations, drive them to depression or even to self-harm because society has not acted to stop online violence against women.

PES Women says it is time to act.

  • All of Europe must embrace, ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention – the first European multilateral legally binding agreement on curbing violence against women, including cyber violence and hate speech.
  • A specific instrument focusing on cyber violence and hate speech online against women must be put in place at EU level.
  • Social media giants must clamp down on gendered abuse – so often reported, and too often ignored.
  • Governments must act – it is time every country focused on finding a solution by implementing concrete and binding legislation on ending online violence against women and girls.

Agree? Help us. SHARE our Notorious Anti-Violence video. Let’s raise awareness together.

The PES Women Annual Conference on 21 November 2019 was dedicated to combating online violence against women and girls. The title of the event was Breaking the Silence on Online Violence Against Women.

2018: Violence against women is costing us our democracy

In 2018, PES Women raised awareness of violence against women in politics.

Almost half (46.9 per cent) of female MPs have received violent threats, including death threats or threats of rape or beating, and 40.5 per cent said they had been sexually harassed at work

Violence against women in politics encompasses all forms of physical and psychological violence, going from undermining women, mansplaining, online stalking and trolling, to harassment, aggression and assault. It affects women everywhere at every level. Political participation should never be punished. Yet, women who devote themselves to public service face this type of violence just for having a voice. 

Ahead of the European elections of 2019, PES Women dedicated its Annual Conference to Fighting violence against women in politics.

2017: Sexual violence is just the tip of the iceberg

Under the slogan ‘Only the tip of the iceberg‘, PES Women and the FEMM committee in the European Parliament organised a street action to highlight the fact that only a small part of the violence against women is visible.

Women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence, harassment and other forms of violence. Unfortunately, we still need to remind society of the scale of gender-based violence and sexual harassment because it is often hidden.

Some 50 women and men joined the action and built a wall with the image of an iceberg in front of the European Parliament.

2016: Stop violence against women now!

PES Women, together with Young European Socialists (YES), Rainbow Rose and the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, mobilised for the 2016 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The joint action aimed at raising awareness of the need to act internationally, with the demand that the Istanbul Convention is ratified by all the Member States and the European Union.

During the action, artists read out poetic texts, accompanied by music. Activists and members of the public joined them with their own texts and signed a board to the attention of Commissioner Jourova in order to raise her attention to the urgency of violence against women.

2015 and 2014: A white ribbon against violence