Violence against women undermines women’s core fundamental rights such as dignity, access to justice and gender equality. For example, one in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15; one in five women has experienced stalking; every second woman has been confronted with one or more forms of sexual harassment.
What emerges is a picture of extensive abuse that affects many women’s lives but is systematically underreported to the authorities. The scale of violence against women is therefore not reflected by official data.
This FRA survey is the first of its kind on violence against women across the 28 Member States of the European Union. It is based on interviews with 42,000 women across the EU, who were asked about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including incidents of intimate partner violence (‘domestic violence’). The survey also included questions on stalking, sexual harassment, and the role played by new technologies in women’s experiences of abuse. In addition, it asked about their experiences of violence in childhood. Based on the detailed findings, FRA suggests courses of action in different areas that are touched by violence against women and go beyond the narrow confines of criminal law, ranging from employment and health to the medium of new technologies.
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