28 jan 2016

Petra De Sutter

De Raad van Europa besliste op donderdag 28 januari om een "urgent debate" te agenderen over de gebeurtenissen in Keulen. Vrouwen werden er massaal aangerand en dat kan niet door de beugel. NOOIT. In mijn tussenkomst leg ik de nadruk op het feit dat sexueel geweld NOOIT te verantwoorden valt en dat we NOOIT vrouwen de schuld mogen geven. Het is ook geen kwestie van religie of cultuur. En ook geen politieke kwestie van links of rechts. Geweld tegen vrouwen is een morele kwestie.

Mijn statement als voorzitster van de Women Working Group kan je bekijken in deze VIDEO.

Mijn tussenkomst in plenaire bekijk je in deze VIDEO (vanaf 0:16:50) of lees je hieronder:

Dear President, dear colleagues,


On behalf of the Socialist’s Women Working Group, I say it clear and loud:

NEVER can a victim of sexual violence be blamed. Sexual violence can never be accepted! AND it is not a cultural thing. It is not a religious thing. It should not be abused in ideological or political discussions on migration. It is not a matter of left or right. It is a moral issue, not a political one.

No cultural relativism can justify violence against women either.

If you are a man or a woman, white or black, migrant or not, religious or not, highly educated or not, poor or rich,

NEVER can you harm the physical integrity of someone else.

Everyone, women and men dispose of their own body.

NEVER. That’s the essence.

Sexual violence is always and everywhere UNACCEPTABLE, whoever commits the crime, and how it’s committed: physically, verbally or psychologically.

This seems evident, but it is NOT.

We can never take women’s rights for granted. We have to repeat this over and over again.

Not only in Cologne recently, not at the Oktoberfests in München, not at the Tahrir place in Cairo in 2011, or at so many others reunions of big crowds in other cities…

Not at home either. Because, dear colleagues, let us not forget that 90% of violence against women and sexual harassment still happens at home, where no one else can see it. The Report by Mr Gunnarsson reminds us of the WHO figures, which state that worldwide, one third of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

Therefore, dear colleagues, I call upon you to stand up for women who are blamed as victims of sexual violence. Stand up and REACT, when you see, hear or experience any kind of sexual violence.

We are not exaggerating.

We don’t want to hear that we shouldn’t wear short skirts, not go out when it’s dark or keep an arm’s distance from others.

We want to hear that women ánd men condemn every possible sexual assault, and react if it ever happens to us.

Therefore, dear colleagues, all member states of the Council of Europe should ratify the Istanbul Convention now. It is the only way to attack sexual violence seriously without generalizing and stigmatizing specific religious or cultural group.

Nothing can justify sexual violence, neither religion, nor culture. Men are not sexual predators, women are not prey animals: mankind has evolved since Darwin, we do no longer just follow our drive to reproduce. Men and women are EQUAL. This is not a political issue. It is a moral issue.

Thank you!

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