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Violence against women in Europe: news from the Fundamental Rights Agency Survey

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has just released a new factsheet ‘Gender-based violence against women – an EU-wide survey’ (available in 22 EU languages), which provides a concise description of the project’s background, the aims, and the content of the survey. The survey provides for the first time comparable data on women’s experiences of violence in the 27 EU Member States and Croatia, and is the largest multi-country study of its kind.
The FRA is now analysing the results of its survey on gender-based violence against women, but unveils some data illustrating the extent of some of the problems that will be revealed in the full survey findings:

Four in five women victims of gender based violence did not turn to any service, such as healthcare, social services, or victim support, following the most serious incidents of violence by people other than their partners. This underlines how the true extent of violence remains
hidden.

  • Women who sought help were most likely to turn to medical services, highlighting the need to ensure that healthcare professionals can address the needs of victims of violence.
  • Two in five women were unaware of laws or political initiatives to protect them in cases of domestic violence; half were unaware of any preventative laws or initiatives.
  • Over three in four women think violence against women is common in their country.
  • About half of the women indicated that they had avoided public or private situations because they were afraid that they might be physically or sexually assaulted.
  • Emerging forms of sexual harassment, through new technologies and media, concern young women in particular. Such forms of cyber harassment include receiving offensive and sexually explicit emails, SMS messages or social media posts.

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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