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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEPs mark International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women with call for zero tolerance

Green MEPs Keith Taylor and Jean Lambert have marked the UN International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women [1] by calling for the establishment of an EU campaign for prevention and zero tolerance.

Jean, the Green MEP for London and member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, said: “On average, two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. Up and down the UK, thousands more victims of physical, sexual and psychological abuse suffer in silence behind closed doors. The statistics cannot be ignored, they demand decisive action.

“I was encouraged to learn of the pilot scheme for domestic abuse protection orders, but more needs to be done. The Government is ignoring clear evidence that incidents of domestic violence rise with unemployment levels and cutting vital funding to women’s shelters at a time when they desperately need it. By putting these centers at risk of closure, the Government is removing the only hope many women have of escape.

“Of course violence against women and girls is not only a domestic issue, it is an international concern and we must all – individuals, civil society and Governments – take responsibility for eradicating these crimes and spread the word that it will not be tolerated.”

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for South East England, recently met with Nieves Meneses, a Colombian woman whose four daughters were abducted, physically, sexually and psychologically tortured, and then executed by paramilitary forces on 1 January, 2001 in the South of Colombia.

Keith, who has signed an open letter to the Colombian representation in Brussels and the EU Commission Delegation in Bogotá, said: “I was shocked, saddened and touched by Nieves Meneses’ story. Sadly this is just one example of how the internal armed conflict in Colombia is characterized by the appalling, widespread and systematic violation of women’s rights, including forced disappearances, mass killings, rape and the destruction of property, which has been taking place over the last decade.

“We cannot sit idly by and ignore the situation. Violence against women must be treated as a political priority and persecutors of this violence must be brought to justice, not just in Colombia but worldwide.”

Notes to editors:

[1] http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/