10 November 2006
Sexual assaults linked to “date-rape drugs”
Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee
Rapporteur: Ms Lajla PERNASKA, Albania, Group of the European People's Party
I. Committee’s conclusions
1. The Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee wishes to thank the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men as well as the rapporteur for taking the initiative of presenting a report on an issue whose importance is not always fully recognised. It fully supports the recommendations which were carried out. However, it wishes to focus on several measures deemed as unavoidable concerning in particular the prevention of such sexual assaults. The Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee therefore proposes amendments to the draft recommendation.
II. Explanatory memorandum
2. Rape undermines victims’ self-esteem, leaving them with self-doubt and a feeling of having been socially devalued.
3. Studies have shown that rape victims often suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome for many weeks or even years.
4. As the rapporteur very rightly states, increasingly frequent reports are being made to prosecuting authorities by rape victims who have unknowingly ingested drugs. As she also makes clear, both women and men are affected, and the victims are very often teenagers.
5. The committee supports the draft recommendation and, in particular, the proposal that public awareness about the relevant drugs should be raised. However, it believes that merely providing information is not enough and that a media campaign involving television adverts could have a wider public impact.
6. The committee also agrees with the proposal that victims be given medical and psychological care, but also wishes the persons responsible to receive appropriate training in dealing with victims in a compassionate and understanding manner.
7. Lastly, the committee regrets the fact that the report does not mention cases where women give birth to children following rapes of this kind.
8. The children concerned are very often abandoned or given up for adoption.
9. In this context, the committee proposes that women who fall pregnant as a result of such rapes should be able to have the pregnancies terminated.
III. Amendments to the draft recommendation
Amendment No. 1
At the end of paragraph 6.2.1, add the following: “and organise information campaigns involving television adverts”
Amendment No. 2
After paragraph 6.2.2A, add a new paragraph worded as follows:
“introduce training programmes for persons who interview and assist rape victims;”
Amendment No. 3
After paragraph 6.2.3, add a new paragraph worded as follows:
“recognise the inalienable right of rape victims to terminate resulting pregnancies if they so wish, such right automatically being;”.
Reporting committee : Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men
Committee for opinion : Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee
Reference to committee : Doc. 10317 and reference No. 3008 of 8 October 2004
Opinion approved by the Committee on 10 November 2006
Secretariat of the Committee : Mr Mezei, Mrs Nollinger, Mrs Meunier
1 See Doc. 11038 tabled by the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.