EU law on combatting violence against women enters into force

As of June 13, the first ever EU rules on combating violence against women and domestic violence enter into force, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

Violence against women and domestic violence affect an estimated one in three of the 228 million women in the EU, the EC said.

By criminalising certain forms of violence against women across the EU, including online, and strengthening victims’ access to justice, protection and support, the Directive aims to ensure the fundamental rights of equal treatment and non-discrimination between women and men,” it said.

The EC said that the new rules are decisive against gender-based violence, and ban female genital mutilation, forced marriage and the most widespread forms of cyber violence, such as the non-consensual sharing of intimate images (including deepfakes), cyber stalking and cyber harassment (including cyber flashing).

Cyber violence is an urgent issue to address, given the exponential spread and dramatic impact of violence online. The new EU rules will help victims of cyber violence in EU countries that did not yet criminalise these acts, the Commission said.

Věra Jourová, EC Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “For the first time ever, we criminalise gender-based cyber violence, such as non-consensual sharing of intimate images, including deepfakes, which is a nightmare for many women.

Such violence is often the reason why women leave public life. Online violence is real violence and violence against women is an every minute problem,” Jourová said.

Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality said: “This Directive offers a thorough response to a pervasive issue.

“It addresses the prevention of gender-based violence, the protection and support of victims, and the adequate punishment for perpetrators. This is an important step toward eradicating violence against women and domestic violence,” Dalli said.

EU member states have until June 14 2027 to transpose the Directive into their national law. 

(Photo: Fabrizio Turco/

The Sofia Globe staff

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