From Sunday victims of domestic violence and stalking will receive the same protection across Europe as they do in the UK, thanks to the coming into force of a new EU law.
The new rules will mean that restraining, barring and protection orders issued in one EU country will be rapidly and easily recognised in another. As a result victims should enjoy the same protections as in the UK when travelling abroad in the EU without having to go through lengthy bureaucratic procedures.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, a former Development Officer for Victim Support and a campaigner on victims' rights, commented:
"Almost one third of women in the UK have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives.
"Currently victims of domestic abuse face an uphill struggle if they want to get a protection order recognised in another country.
"From now on, they will be able to live or travel abroad knowing that the protective arm of the law extends right across the EU.
"We now have to make sure that this law is properly implemented and enforced in all EU countries."
When victims wish to travel their home state will issue a European Protection Order which will then be recognised in the country they are travelling to and a similar order will be issued in that country.
If the original case was dealt with in civil matters the victim must ask for a certificate under civil regulation.