In the past years, we have seen an alarming rise in Gender-based violence offences, including domestic violence and sex offences. CEP established the Expert Group on Sex Offenders in 2012 and the Expert Group on Domestic Violence, together with EuroPris, in 2018. These two groups worked until 2023 when it was decided to merge these two groups under the Expert Group on Gender-based Violence in Probation.

According to the Council of Europe definition, Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person or group of people because of their factual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity and that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately (mainly women and girls but it can affect also men and boys). Gender-based violence can be sexual, physical, verbal, psychological (emotional), or socio-economic and it can take many forms, from verbal violence and hate speech on the Internet, to rape or murder. It can be perpetrated by anyone: a current or former spouse/partner, a family member, a colleague from work, schoolmates, friends, an unknown person, or people who act on behalf of cultural, religious, state, or intra-state institutions. Although women and girls are the main victims of GBV, it also causes severe harm to families and communities.

Probation bodies and practitioners across Europe and worldwide together with other criminal justice professionals are among those on the frontline of preventing violence by supervising and providing specialized treatment and programmes, guidance, and assistance to offenders.

To support all aspects of rehabilitation and at the same time treatment process there is a need for cooperation among various actors and different European jurisdictions dealing with similar situations.

General purpose

To contribute to a better understanding and better practices when working with Gender-based violence cases. That can be done by different forms of cooperation, for example sharing research, good practices, results, methods and by raising awareness.

The Expert Group provides the opportunity for lead experts of CEP members to meet and discuss further development of work with this unique and challenging target group of probation clients.

The aim is also to improve management, to find and share good practices and inspiring examples around Europe as well as to advocate and act as the voice of this specific topic in the European Probation field.