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European Union Publishes Comprehensive Survey of Violence Against Women

Written by Lourdes Sada · Translated by Victoria Robertson On 10 March 2014 @ 21:12 pm | 6 Comments

In Citizen Media, English, Human Rights, Photos, Politics, Spain, Spanish, Weblog, Western Europe, Women & Gender

Convocatoria de la presentación del Informe sobre «Violencia contra las mujeres en la UE». Foto de la página de la Agencia de Derechos Fundamentales de la UE en Facebook, utilizada con autorización. [1]

FRA unveils its report on violence against women in the EU. Photo from the Facebook page of Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), used with permission.

On March 5, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published the results of a survey on violence against women [2] [pdf], the most comprehensive of its kind ever conducted. Undertaken simultaneously throughout the region, it is the first time comparative data has been available by country on the kinds of violence women suffer in their families, at work, in public and on the Internet as well as the effect it has on their lives and the way in which victims respond to aggression. 

The report is based on direct interviews with 42,000 female residents of the EU aged 18 to 74, and it reveals some staggering numbers. According to one of the videos presented along with the report [3], “the results show the scale of violence against women in the EU is vast, and simply cannot be ignored.”  In the words of the FRA Director Morten Kjaerum:

La enormidad del problema prueba que la violencia contra las mujeres no afecta solo a unas pocas: tiene impacto en la sociedad todos los días. Por tanto, políticos, sociedad civil y trabajadores de primera línea tienen que evaluar medidas que traten cualquier forma de violencia contra la mujer, donde sea que se produzca.

The enormity of the problem is proof that violence against women does not just impact a few women only – it impacts on society every day. Therefore, policy makers, civil society and frontline workers need to review measures to tackle all forms of violence against women no matter where it takes place. [sic]

Morten Kjaerum, director de la FRA, se dirige a los asistentes a la presentación del informe. Foto de la web de la FRA, utilizada con autorización. [4]

Morten Kjaerum, Director of the FRA, speaking to the audience that attended the presentation of the report. Poto from the FRA website used with permission. 

Some of the conclusions [5] of the survey include:

  • 33% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, while 5% have been raped. 
  • 55% of women have suffered some form of sexual harassment (unwelcome kissing, hugging or touching) since the age of 15. 
  • 75% of women in high level jobs or who are highly qualified have experience sexual harassment at some point in their lives. 
  • 11% of women have experienced inappropriate advances on social websites or have been subjected to sexually explicit emails or text (SMS) messages.
  • 67% did not report the most serious incident of partner violence to the police or other organizations.

Surprisingly the countries with the highest percentage of victims of violence against women are in northern Europe: Denmark (52%), Finland (47%) and Sweden (46%), while Hungary (21%), Austria (20%) and Poland (19%) have much lower rates. Spain, at 22%, is well below average:

Porcentaje de mujeres, por países miembros de la UE,  que afirman haber sufrido «violencia física o sexual por parte de su pareja u otra persona desde los 15 años». Imagen de la Agencia de Derechos Fundamentales de la UE, utilizada con autorización. [6]

Percentage of women, by EU member country, who say they have suffered “physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partner or non-partner since the age of 15.” Image courtesy of the Fundamental Rights Agency, used with permission. 

It seems counter intuitive that Scandinavian countries, which have higher rates of gender equality should also have higher rates of violence against women. Blanca Tapia, spokesperson for the FRA, explains in El diario [7] [es] newspaper this apparent contradiction:

En países como Finlandia, Dinamarca, Suecia o Francia es más aceptable culturalmente hablar de violencia de género y, por lo tanto, las mujeres la declaran más. Las mujeres de los países nórdicos tienen mucha conciencia de género, saben que son iguales en derechos a los hombres y tienen claro que no tienen que aguantar ciertas cosas. No pasan ni una.

In countries like Finland, Denmark, Sweden or France, it is culturally more acceptable to talk about violence against women, so women are more likely to denounce it. Women in northern countries have greater gender awareness; they know they have the same rights as men and it is clear to them that there are certain things they do not have to put up with. They don't let things get by them.

The report has generated controversy among Europeans. Many doubt the veracity of the numbers and question what is really considered aggression. The user DENUNCIAR left the following comment on the website of diario 20 minutos [8] [es]:

ya sabemos como hacen las encuestas estas feministas, si se pelean por el mando de la tele se considera violencia machista

nada nuevo bajo el sol

otra noticia para manipular nuestras mentes en el siglo dorado del feminazismo

We already know how these feminist surveys work, if you argue over the TV remote it's considered macho violence

nothing new under the sun

another headline designed to manipulate our minds during this golden age of feminazis

 In the Público newspaper, chochialimmoomuelte commented [9]:

¿¿Una de cada cinco mujeres no sabe que si la violan tiene que ir a la policía??

¿¿Decir “no te quiero” a alguien es violencia machista??

¿¿Los abrazos son acoso??

¿¿ La “violencia contra las mujeres” se da “todos los días en todas partes”??

Desde luego, cada vez os cuesta más justificar las subvenciones al chiringuito feminazi.

Las mujeres inteligentes deberían indignarse ante esta basura que se publica en las que se las trata como si fueran imbéciles

One out of every five women doesn't know they have to report a rape to the police??

Saying “I don't love you” is macho violence??

Hugs are harassment??

“Violence against women” occurs “everywhere every day”??

Of course, it gets harder and harder to justify subsidizing your feminazi soap box.

Intelligent women should be offended by this crap that is published and that treats them like they were idiots.

 Madame X responded this way [10] to the skeptics on the same webpage:

Por supuesto que un piropo grosero es una agresión. Es humillante que te digan una grosería y la humillación es una forma de maltrato. Cualquier tío se ofendería si otro le dice una grosería a su novia, a su madre o a su hermana, ¿o me lo vais a negar? Entonces si eso os ofende o molesta cuando va dirigido a una mujer de vuestro entorno afectivo, ¿cómo algunos tenéis la cara dura de cuestionar que eso sea una agresión a la afectada?

Of course a crude comment is a form of aggression. It is humiliating to have something crude said to you, and humiliation is a form of mistreatment. Any guy would be offended if another said something disgusting to their girlfriend, mother or sister—are you going to deny that? So if it offends or bothers you went it is directed at a woman you care about, how can some of you actually have the nerve to question whether the woman feels harassed?

On Twitter, Lau [11] published an image that explains in graphic detail the different kinds of violence committed against women:

And I am not just referring to those of us who are slapped in the face or raped. Macho violence has a framework.

[The pyramid describes a progression from subtle forms such as sexist advertising and simply ignoring women to more explicit forms such as insults, abuse and even murder.]

Don Mitxel Erregea [14] questions the role of religions:

I wonder if macho violence has something to do with encouraging religions that associate women with Evil.

In Spain, cuts made by the current government affect public programs that protect women [16] [es]:

[La Ley de Tasas] elimina la falta por “vejaciones injustas” que suele ser el primer paso en los casos de maltrato, se sugiere la mediación en los casos de violencia de género. Esto pondría en riesgo a la víctima y se solicita que la condena del agresor sea una multa

[The law regarding court fees] eliminates the “unfair treatment” offense that is usually the first step in cases of abuse; mediation is suggested in cases of violence against women. This would put victims at risk and seeks to impose only a fine on the aggressor.

In Spain, 48 victims of violence against women died in 2013.  So far in 2014, 14 women have been killed by their partners. 


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/10/european-union-publishes-comprehensive-survey-of-violence-against-women/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.facebook.com/fundamentalrights/photos/pb.166675333366201.-2207520000.1394124058./744724638894598/?type=3&theater

[2] survey on violence against women: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2014-vaw-survey-at-a-glance_en_0.pdf

[3] videos presented along with the report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU4lZQ8cB3_fq1wzsqzv13hw&v=MUp2oQ4cMtc

[4] Image: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/styles/fra_large/public/fra_images/bat_3640.jpg

[5] conclusions: http://fra.europa.eu/en/press-release/2014/violence-against-women-every-day-and-everywhere

[6] Image: http://fra.europa.eu/DVS/DVT/vaw.php

[7] explains in El diario: http://www.eldiario.es/sociedad/millones-europeas-sufrido-violencia-machista_0_235177241.html

[8] diario 20 minutos: http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/2060524/0/mujeres-europa/victimas/violencia-machista/#xtor=AD-15&xts=467263

[9] chochialimmoomuelte commented: http://www.publico.es/actualidad/505885/un-tercio-de-las-mujeres-europeas-sufre-violencia-de-genero#comentario-21

[10] Madame X responded this way: http://www.publico.es/actualidad/505885/un-tercio-de-las-mujeres-europeas-sufre-violencia-de-genero#comentario-47

[11] Lau: https://twitter.com/mcmihail

[12] pic.twitter.com/SKNIcY0L9r: http://t.co/SKNIcY0L9r

[13] March 5, 2014: https://twitter.com/mcmihail/statuses/441152325017559040

[14] Don Mitxel Erregea: https://twitter.com/DonMitxel666

[15] March 6, 2014: https://twitter.com/DonMitxel666/statuses/441498740638384128

[16] affect public programs that protect women: http://diarioatlantida.com/igualdad/espana-tambien-recorta-en-igualdad

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