Unreported violence against women masks true extent of problem

14/02/2014
Two-thirds of female victims of physical and/or sexual violence did not contact the police or any other service following the most serious incident of violence they had experienced, a survey from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) can reveal. The scale of the problem therefore often remains invisible in official figures, highlighting the need to improve awareness of the issue.

“FRA’s survey has uncovered shocking levels of violence against women across the EU,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum on V-Day, in support of the global movement to end violence against women. “42,000 women have spoken to us about their experiences of abuse at home, at work, in public and online. Their collective voices underline the urgent need to empower women to discuss and report this all too common problem so authorities can act to help end violence against women.”

On 5 March, FRA will present the results of its survey on gender-based violence at a high-level conference in Brussels. It is the first and largest EU-wide survey to record the extent and nature of violence against women across the EU. The survey results are based on face-to-face interviews with 42,000 women in the 28 EU Member States. They provide reliable and comparable data on women’s experiences of various types of physical, sexual and psychological violence by current and former partners, and other perpetrators. The survey also covered women’s experiences of stalking and sexual harassment – including cyber stalking and cyber harassment – and asked adult women about their childhood experiences of violence.

The conference will bring together about 250 representatives from EU institutions and bodies, international organisations, national governments and parliaments, national human rights bodies and civil society will are expected to attend. Decision makers and practitioners will hear about the extent of the problem, as a prelude to discussions about the findings and about what EU and national policy makers could do to help combat violence against women.

The event will also be streamed live.

For further information please contact: media@fra.europa.eu
Tel.: +43 1 580 30 642

Notes to editors:

  • Over 42,000 women were interviewed for the survey. The net sample size was 1,500 respondents per country (except in Luxembourg, where the net sample size was 900 respondents). Respondents were 18-74 years of age at the time of interviewing.
  • All respondents were selected randomly and the survey results are representative both at EU and national level.
  • Questions were asked about experiences and incidents since the age of 15 and over the 12 months preceding the interview.
  • The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides evidence-based advice to EU and national decision makers, thereby contributing to more informed and better targeted debates and policies on fundamental rights.