Male violence against women occurs in every European country and is a serious and widespread problem. Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and represents a pervasive violation of human rights and a major obstacle to achieving gender equality .
Member states of international organisations like the UN and the Council of Europe as well as the EU countries are bound by international and national law to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence, whether those acts are perpetrated by the state or private persons, and provide protection to victims .
Domestic violence against women is a pattern of controlling behaviour by the intimate partner or ex-partner, which includes but is not limited to physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, isolation economic abuse, threats, intimidation, and stalking . Violence against women in the family also affects the children who also have the right to be protected and to receive support.
Agencies running perpetrator programmes carry a great responsibility for all persons involved. Work with male perpetrators of domestic violence aims to stop the violence and enhance the safety of victims of domestic violence (women and children), but it should also be seen as embedded in a wider process of cultural and political change towards abolishing gender hierarchies, gendered violence and gender discrimination as well as other forms of personal and structural violence and discrimination.
Standards are necessary to assure the quality of work and especially that the safety for victims is a priority and that the work does not endanger the partners or children of their participants.
 See Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the protection of women against violence adopted on 30 April 2002.
These guidelines were the basis for our workshop "Deconstructing sexpectations". Click here to download the document
“Accountability” is an important ethic in perpetrator work at all levels of the delivery of perpetrator programmes. You can read the WWP EN methodology for perpetrator programmes and their umbrella organisations to create accountability structures and processes here.