EU lawmakers taking steps towards combating violence and cyberviolence against women

EU lawmakers agreed to criminalize non-consensual sex and are considering making various forms of cyberviolence criminal offenses to protect women from abuse.

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The EU lawmakers agreed to make non-consensual sex a crime, despite opposition from the EU governments. Additionally, lawmakers are considering making various forms of cyberviolence, such as revenge porn, AI-generated porn deepfakes, and online harassment, criminal offenses. The aim is to establish the first-ever the EU law to protect women from abuse.

The directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence received strong support from lawmakers, with a vote of 71-5 in favor and seven abstentions. However, the vote still needs to be confirmed in a Parliament plenary session in July. The law aims to establish minimum standards across the EU for various criminal offenses, including female genital mutilation and cyberstalking. It also aims to enhance support for victims and improve data collection on these issues. One significant provision of the law was to make non-consensual sex punishable as rape with a minimum prison sentence of eight years.

The EU legislators aim to strengthen the draft law by introducing new provisions. One proposal is to criminalize the act of sending unsolicited images and videos of genitals online with the intention to cause psychological harm. Additionally, they have voted to expand the scope of the law to include not only cyber incitement against women but also violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community.