Engerer calls for Malta to take Council lead for rape definition in gender violence law

‘Istanbul Convention did not save Bernice Cassar’ says Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer on need to institute culture of reform to reflect spirit of Istanbul Convention


Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer
Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer has demanded that Malta raise its voice inside the European Council, to lay down a clear definition of rape in the Directive on gender-based violence.

Engerer paid tribute to the memory of Bernice Cassar, the mother of two brutally killed in cold blood by her estranged husband, after her domestic violence complaints were not acted upon by law enforcement.

“The Istanbul Convention did not save Bernice,” Engerer said, making an appeal to Maltese authorities to start taking the values of the Convention against gender-based violence to schools and society at large.

“We need to change hearts and minds, empower young girls at school and women, and give men and young boys a reality check,” Engerer told the European Parliament in a discussion on the Commission’s statement on the international day for the elimination of violence against women.

“I urge member states, and I start from Malta, to stop the resistance we are finding in the Council in including a clear definition of rape in the gender-based violence directive. Rape is a result of no consent and this must be written down in the Directive, and we need to do it now. I start from my country - we did it at home, let’s do it in the Council.”

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