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At its today’s sitting, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) discussed the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Estonia, and decided to send the bill on the ratification of the Convention to the first reading at the plenary sitting of the Riigikogu on 13 June. The purpose of the Convention is to prevent violence against women and help the victims.

“Domestic violence is not an internal matter of a family, but a social problem that has to be addressed at the state level. The first step is to change the attitude of the people. The statistics which shows how many people have encountered domestic violence is worrying,” Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee Jaanus Karilaid said.

According to the study conducted by the Estonian Open Society Institute, about half of the people in Estonia aged 15 years and more have personally encountered domestic violence. About half of them consider the victim partially at fault in domestic violence.

Member of the Legal Affairs Committee Valdo Randpere said that it was mistakenly thought that only women suffered domestic violence. In his opinion, men also need protection.

According to the study of the Estonian Open Society Institute, 42 percent of women and 40 percent of men who are older than 15 years have experienced domestic violence. 12 percent of women and 7 percent of men have experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence.

The Istanbul Convention was adopted on 7 April 2011 in Istanbul, and Estonia signed it on 2 December 2014.

The Istanbul Convention creates a framework for the protection and helping the victims of violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention also aims to promote international cooperation to eliminate violence against women and domestic violence.

The legislative proceedings regarding the Bill on the Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (475 SE) will be completed in the plenary of the Riigikogu at two readings.

Riigikogu Press Service
Eva Vahur
+372 631 6592, +372 53 300 619
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