Efforts to end violence against women require a better understanding of the situation in Europe

“Every day women in Europe continue to suffer from gender-based violence. This violates their basic fundamental rights,” said FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum, to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

“This violence not only has a direct impact on the lives of the women concerned, women’s families and society in general suffer too. To help end this all too common attack on women’s rights and well-being, we need a better understanding of violence against women and its effects on women in Europe,” Mr Kjaerum continued. In 2012 over 40,000 women in the 27 European Union Member States and Croatia were interviewed for the first EU-wide survey on gender-based violence – which was undertaken by the Fundamental Rights Agency. The women, from different age groups and situations, spoke about their experiences of various forms of violence – physical, sexual, psychological – from childhood to adulthood. FRA would like to thank all participants for their valuable time and for sharing their experiences. The results of the survey will be presented by FRA in 2013 to provide the EU’s first comprehensive and comparable overview of the extent, nature and effects of violence on the lives of women in Europe. This evidence is key for the development of effective measures to combat violence against women across the EU.

Better data on violence against women has been called for by the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. FRA carried out the survey to provide much-needed comprehensive and comparable data on violence against women to inform policy and action on the ground to address this human rights abuse, as requested by the European Parliament and Council.