(Courtesy of Council of Europe)

GREVIO publishes General Recommendation No. 1 on the digital dimension of violence against women

In monitoring the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, GREVIO has identified that the digital dimension of violence against women is often overlooked in domestic laws and policies. Being aware of this soaring human rights violation, GREVIO decided to prepare its very first General Recommendation and dedicate it to the application of the Istanbul Convention in relation to the digital dimension of violence against women.

The general recommendations are not legally binding, but they serve as an important reference for states parties by demanding a greater understanding of the topics in the convention and offer guidance for an effective implementation of the provisions contained in the convention. These recommendations shall also be part of the monitoring mechanism.

For many years, women’s and girls’ experience of gender-based violence against women have been amplified or facilitated by technology, in particular the technology used in online and digital environments. GREVIO regards the perpetration of violence against women online or with the help of technology, whether occurring in public or in private life, as a continuity of the different forms of gender-based violence.

It is well known that gender-based violence against women perpetrated in the digital sphere has a serious impact on the lives of women and girls, including psychological and physical health, their livelihood, their physical safety and their reputation.

Just to highlight the prevalence of digital violence: A European report shows that 45% of domestic violence victims reported experiencing some form of abuse online during their relationship and 48% reported experiencing harassment or abuse online from their ex-partner once they had left the relationship.

The GREVIO General Recommendation No.1 requires States Parties to recognize the digital dimension of violence against women as a form of gender-based violence by taking the necessary legislative and other measures to prevent and to protect women’s right to live free from violence in both the public and the private sphere in accordance with Art. 4 of the Istanbul Convention. 

14 DECEMBER 2021