Istanbul Convention Portends the Rise of Totalitarian Rule Across Europe

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Here is the latest press release from DAVIA:

March 7, 2023 – Europeans are increasingly concerned by heavy-handed government policies, as evidenced by the recent protest in Brussels by Belgian farmers, angered by plans that unfairly target the agricultural sector to cut nitrogen emissions (1). Likewise, persons across Europe are troubled by the European Union’s continued consideration of the Istanbul Convention.

The Convention threatens to expand totalitarian rule, for five reasons: Rejection of science, suppression of debate, widespread human rights violations, Orwellian doublespeak, and lack of administrative accountability:

  1. Rejection of Science

In England, Sheree Spencer recently was sentenced to a four-year jail sentence for engaging in a years-long campaign of punching, kicking, slapping, and biting her husband (2).  Indeed, numerous research studies conducted throughout Europe reveal that men and women are equally likely to be victims of domestic violence (3).


But advocates of the Istanbul Convention deny these scientific findings.

  1. Suppression of Debate 
Protester in Armenia

In many countries, public and political debate about the proposed treaty has been thwarted. “Indeed, the citizens of most member states are entirely unaware that this is happening behind their backs,” according to one observer. “In neither Ireland or England, was it put before citizens; no experts teased out its implications, no legal minds were asked to predict its consequences into the future.” (4)


These tactics are reminiscent of the former Soviet Union.

  1. Violations of Human Rights

 Article 23 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights unequivocally affirms, “Equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas.” (5) In contrast, the Istanbul Convention ignores the widespread problem of domestic abuse of men, using the phrase, “violence against women” 56 times, while “violence against men” is not mentioned once (6).

  1. Orwellian Doublespeak

 The Istanbul Convention inexplicably insists that discriminatory measures against men shall not be considered to represent discrimination. Article 4 of the IC states, “Special measures that are necessary to prevent and protect women from gender-based violence shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of this Convention.”


Such Orwellian statements are characteristic of totalitarian regimes.

  1. Lack of Accountability

The GREVIO body, which oversees implementation of the Convention, “shall adopt its own rules of procedure” (Article 66). And none of the GREVIO procedures or reports require approval by the European Union. Totalitarian groups abhor public or political accountability.


False allegations kill

The Center for Family and Human Rights recently commented, “There is usually a whiff of fascism” among feminist groups (7).  Members of the European Parliament and member-state lawmakers are urged to speak out against the march of totalitarian ideology across Europe.


The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance – DAVIA — consists of 74 member organizations from 29 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. DAVIA seeks to ensure that domestic violence and abuse polices are science-based, family-affirming, and sex-inclusive.







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