Background Paper on the Links between Violence against Women and Women’s Homelessness

Violence against women is a brutal manifestation of gender inequality and a serious violation of human rights. One in three women (33 %) in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence was after the age of 15. Increasing attention is paid both at national and European level to violence against women. It is certainly an issue that is not only on the political agenda, but is also being tackled through legislative means: important European legislation has been introduced in recent years. By laying down clear legal obligations for governments, the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe, if ratified and implemented by governments across Europe, has the potential to contribute effectively to preventing and combating violence against women and supporting victims. It is important that the needs and views of women who are homeless and are survivors of violence be taken into account in the drawing up of policy and in practice and to ensure that protection from violence and support for victims also reaches women who are homeless and are often living hidden from public view.

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