Global Impact: Results of EU Agency for Fundamental Rights on Violence Against Women
According to http://www.iamexpat.nl,
almost half of women in the Netherlands have been victims of sexual
assault. This statistic stems from a new report by the European Union
Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on violence against women. For further data on the FRA methodology, see: http://fra.europa.eu/en/survey/2012/survey-gender-based-violence-against-women In 2010, the FRA initiated a pilot/pretest study in six EU Member
States to test the draft survey questionnaire in a combination of
qualitative and quantitative interviews. Work on the full-scale survey
started in 2011, and the data collection was completed in September
During the project development the FRA consulted a group
consisting of various stakeholder groups concerning the issues to be
covered in the survey, and a group of violence against women survey
research specialists on the details of technical implementation.
The survey interviewed over 40,000 women (approximately
1,500 per country), aged 18-74 years, in the 27 European Union Member
States and Croatia.
The interviews were managed by Ipsos MORI, in
cooperation with the European Institute for Crime Prevention and
Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI), and the United
Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), based on an open call for tender and following FRA’s project
In each country a representative sample of respondents
was drawn either from existing population registers or using the random
route method. In both cases only one respondent per household was
interviewed, and the interviews were conducted in a private setting with
no other people present except the interviewer and the respondent.
The respondents were asked about their experiences of physical,
sexual and psychological violence – including sexual harassment and
stalking – by partners and other persons. With regard to incidents of
violence, the survey asked a series of questions concerning the nature
of violence, consequences, and ways in which the victims have coped with
While most experiences of violence that were asked about
in the survey referred to the time since the respondent was 15 years of
age, the survey also included a section on childhood incidents. Sociodemographical information
was collected to enable a detailed analysis of the survey results. The
same standardized questionnaire was used.
five per cent of Dutch women acknowledged that they have experienced
some form of physical or sexual violence since reaching the age of 15, a
figure well above the European average of 33%.
is the first time that such a widespread survey on violence against
women has been conducted in the EU. Data was gathered from
interviews carried out across the 28 member states, which asked women
about their experiences with psychological, physical and sexual
than a fifth of the European women surveyed declared that they had
endured either physical or sexual forms of domestic violence, yet only
14% of women reported their most severe incident to the
in 20 said that they had been raped, some more than once, a number
equivalent to over nine million women across the Continent.
occurs in marital situations, which can blur the lines as to what is
considered assault. Even when it comes to violence outside of the home,
only 13% of victims contacted the police following a serious
case of assault.
and Scandinavian figures for violence against women generally surpass
the European average.
In the Netherlands, 18% of women reported
being the victim of some degree of sexual violence. This is almost the
highest rate in Europe, second only to that of Denmark.
In contrast, the
average sexual violence rate on the Continent was 11%.
report does not explain why northern European countries outweigh the
southern countries when it comes to instances of female violence. Joanna
Goodey PhD, head of research for the agency, notes that these statistics do
not necessarily mean that violence is more prevalent in the north.
I retired from the US State Department in April 2006, after a career as a special agent, Senior Regional Security Officer (SRSO), director of training, chief investigator of the Cyprus Missing Persons Program, director of security of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and as a senior adviser in the Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance.
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