This guest post was written by Fleur van Leeuwen (*)
Around a month ago, the Court ruled in Civek v. Turkey that it was not necessary to examine the applicant’s complaint of discrimination in a domestic violence case that ended in death. This was disheartening, especially because in recent domestic violence judgments the Court has always addressed alleged violations of article 14. What was perhaps even more disturbing about the Civek judgement was that the Court – without any apparent reason – observed that men can also be victims of domestic violence, thereby implying that domestic violence is a gender neutral phenomenon. In doing so, it seconded the worrisome wording of the Istanbul Convention, which – by denoting that men may also be victims of domestic violence and by referring to violence against women and domestic violence – explicitly positions the latter as a gender neutral form of violence.