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‘Rape’ to be left out of EU directive
Rachel Morrogh (chief executive, DRCC)

18 Jan 2024 / eu Print

Rape to be left out of EU directive

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) has described an EU Council decision to exclude rape from a forthcoming EU directive on violence against women and domestic violence as “bitterly disappointing”.

The European Parliament and European Commission had backed the inclusion of a consent-based definition of rape in the directive, but not enough EU governments could agree on a legal definition at EU Council level.

A lead negotiator on the file, Dublin MEP Frances Fitzgerald, told RTÉ that it had proved impossible to get a sufficient number of countries to back the inclusion of rape in the directive.

‘Clear signal’

Rachel Morrogh (chief executive, DRCC) said that the exclusion would “deepen and widen” inequalities that already existed across Europe.

“Including rape in the directive was important for both legal and symbolic reasons, and its exclusion sends a clear signal to victims and survivors across Europe that it is not a political priority,” she added.

“DRCC believes that the obstacles to the directive were not insurmountable and, therefore, the council’s decision to exclude this crime reflects a concerning belief that rape is an expendable provision,” Morrogh stated.

She said that the development would most affect those living in countries that had not legislated for a consent-based definition of rape.

DRCC had, in recent weeks, called for a consent-based definition of rape to be included in the directive, following concerns raised by Fitzgerald that some countries in Europe – including Ireland – had not decided on the issue.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland