Violence against women is an issue in Luxembourg, with national statistics indicating that women accounted for 64.3% of victims of violence in 2012.
Despite this, Luxembourg has not yet adopted a specific strategy and action plan on violence against women, although the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Committee urged the country to do so in 2008.
The National Action Plan on Equality between Women and Men for 2009-14 is currently set up by the government and will be based on the Coalition Program of December 2013 which contains a certain number of measures concerning the fight against domestic violence.
is currently regulated by several provisions in the Criminal Code and New Code of Civil Procedure which were amended and/or introduced by a specific law on domestic violence passed on 8 September 2003 and revised in July 2013.
Domestic violence is not specifically defined but the 2003 law refers to various crimes (threatening to attack others,
etc.) which carry heavier penalties when committed against family members (including the current/ex-spouse/partner, ascendants, descendants, siblings). The bill also introduced eviction orders against perpetrators of domestic violence. Accordingly, police officers are empowered to expel such persons from their household for a period of ten days, and the victim can request the court to extend the eviction for a period of three months.
The bill also created a committee of co-operation between professionals in the fight against violence, which is composed of State representatives and professionals working for support services to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.
National statistics reveal an increase in the prevalence of domestic violence, with 357 victims registered in 2012 and 2013, compared to 302 in 2009,
and 357 evictions registered in 2013, compared to 145 in 2003.
According to a study conducted across the European Union in 2012, 22% of women in Luxembourg had experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 and 3% in the past twelve months; while 49% of women reported having experienced psychological violence during one of their relationships.
Moreover, women represent the majority of victims, with latest national statistics indicating that they accounted for 90,48 %of victims (311 out of 357) in 2012.
There is no available data on the percentage of women who agree that wife beating is justified under certain circumstances. 88.8% of domestic cases in 2012 involved intimate partner violence,
and as regards conviction rates, national reports indicate that 32 convictions were pronounced in 2012.
is criminalised under s.375 of the Criminal Code. Accordingly, rape is defined as any act of sexual penetration committed against a non-consenting person, inter alia through the use of force or threat, trick or artifice, or by abusing a person’s inability to consent or resist freely. Case law has established that the “inability to consent or resist freely” relates to victims who had no faculty to understand the act, and to victims who did but whose judgement was clouded by violence or threats.
Victims under the age of 14 years are irrefutably presumed to have been incapable of freely consenting to the act.
Rape is punished by a prison sentence of five to ten years, or 10-15 years in the event where it is committed against a minor under the age of 16 years.
Marital/spousal rape and the rape of pregnant women are, inter alia, aggravated forms of rape with heavier penalties.
The police recorded a 17.1% increase in the number of rapes between 2012 and 2013, with 89 cases registered in 2013,
but no information on conviction rates is available.
Services for women victims of violence include a multilingual helpline (however it is neither free of charge, nor available 24/7),
nine women shelters with approximately 154 places available,
and 13 women’s centres providing counseling, information and advice, court accompaniment, outreach and resettlement support.
is prohibited in the workplace since May 2000 and defined as conduct of a sexual nature or based on sex which the person who displays it knows or should know that it affects the dignity of the person. The law also stipulates that one of the following three conditions must be met: the conduct is untimely, abusive and hurtful; the victim’s acceptance or refusal of the harassment is explicitly or implicitly used to form the basis of a professional decision against him/her; the conduct creates a climate of intimidation, hostility or humiliation for the victim.
“Sexual nature” and “based on sex” are not specifically defined by law nor clarified through case law.
The law obliges employers to prevent sexual harassment by informing employees on the law and taking measures to stop sexual harassment,
and employers can be summoned to do so by the court.
“Obsessive harassment” (defined as repeated harassment) constitutes a crime and is punished by 15 days to two years imprisonment.
Sexual harassment is reportedly very rare in Luxembourg.
Female genital mutilation
is not reported to be practiced in Luxembourg.
Legislation on abortion
is at a turning point after Luxembourg’s Cabinet adopted a bill decriminalising abortion on 4 April 2014.
The bill will be submitted to Parliament once the Council of State gives its opinion on the text. Should the new text be passed, voluntary abortion will no longer constitute a crime,
and women will no longer be obliged by law to provide written consent to abort, nor be obliged to consult a psycho-social institution after obtaining medical approval for the abortion.
Abortion is currently legal in the event of threat to maternal life, rape, health concerns, foetal impairments, and for economic or social reasons.
 Comité de coopération entre les professionnels dans le domaine de la lutte contre la violence (2014). Rapport au gouvernement pour l’année 2013  CEDAW (2008)  Loi modifiée du 8 septembre 2003 sur la violence domestique portant modification 1) de la loi du 31 mai 1999 sur la police et l’inspection générale de la police; 2) du code pénal; 3) du code d’instruction criminelle; 4) du nouveau code de procédure civile  Criminal Code, ss.327,329, 330, 330-1  Criminal Code., ss.375-377  Criminal Code., ss.395-396  Criminal Code., s.409  Criminal Code., s.438-1  New Code of Civil Procedure, s.1017-1  Government of Luxembourg (2013), Statistiques 2013  Comité de coopération entre les professionnels dans le domaine de la lutte contre la violence (2014)  European Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014)  Comité de coopération entre les professionnels dans le domaine de la lutte contre la violence (2013)  Comité de coopération entre les professionnels dans le domaine de la lutte contre la violence (2013)  Comité de coopération entre les professionnels dans le domaine de la lutte contre la violence (2013)  Criminal Code, s.375(1)  Criminal Code, s.375(1)  Criminal Code., s.375  Criminal Code., s.377(5)  Government of Luxembourg (2013)  Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) (2012)  Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) (2012)  Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) (2012)  Loi du 26 mai 2000 concernant la protection contre le harcèlement sexuel à l’occasion des relations de travail et portant modification de différentes autres lois, s.2  European Commission (2011) Loi du 26 mai 2000 (op. cit.), s.4  Ibid., s.11  Criminal Code, s.442-2  European Commission (2011)  UNICEF (2013)  Government of Luxembourg, Résumé des travaux du 4 avril 2014, http://www.gouvernement.lu/3634428/04-conseil (accessed on 28 April 2014)  It is currently prohibited under s.351 of the Criminal Code  Criminal Code, s.353  Criminal Code.