Emer Costello - Ireland MEP - Member of the European Parliament representing the Dublin Constitutency since February 2012.


7/13 - Under a new EU regulation, which will take effect from January 2015, victims of domestic violence, stalking or harassment who are granted civil law protection in one EU country will be fully protected in another on completion of a short form. It will ensure that they will be able to move freely across Europe with the same level of protection they have in their home country.

The protection afforded by this regulation will give great reassurance to people whose lives are threatened by violence. It will give them the freedom to travel abroad for holidays, for work or indeed for longer periods, without fear. The regulation covers all threats to a person's physical and moral integrity, including threats to dignity, security, personal freedom and sexual integrity.

Over 100,000 women across the EU, including approximately 1,000 in Ireland, benefit from protection orders in their home country, but not in other countries.

While much work has been done to protect victims of abuse, figures from Women’s Aid show one in five women in Ireland will experience violence in their lifetime. In 2011, there were 12,612 incidents of domestic violence disclosed to the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline.

It is worth bearing in mind that domestic violence also has a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime and that it is a crime which also affects men. It is vitally important that victims are supported wherever they are in Europe and that this protection remains in place when people move.