One third of women in the European Union are victims of various kinds of violence, according to the largest such study in the world by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) released yesterday
Vienna (DPA) - Womenin the European Union face a high risk of being physically or sexually assaulted, according to a key study published yesterday, which showed that a third of Europe's women have experienced such attacks.
The research was conducted by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), which said that its 42,000 interviews with women in all EU countries amount to the world's largest study on violence against women to date. "It is bad across Europe. Women are not safe in the street, they are not safe in the workplace, and, finally, they are not safe at home," said FRA director Morten Kjaerum said. The FRA estimated that 13 million European women were physically abused in the 12 months prior to the study that was conducted in 2012, while 3.7 million were raped or sexually abused.
Denmark, Finland and Sweden were the countries with the highest number of women who say they have experienced violence such as beatings, burns, strangling, rape or other forms of forced sex, since the age of 15. The rates for these three countries were 52, 47 and 46 per cent, respectively, while Poland, Austria and Croatia had the lowest results at around 20 per cent each. FRA's lead researcher Joanna Goodey warned against seeing the situation in the latter three countries in a positive light. "The lowest figures are one in five. That's not a good finding," she said.
Southern European countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece also ranged below the EU average of 33 per cent. However, FRA researchers said that these big national differences do not necessarily mean that men are more violent in the North, or that the situation is better in the South.