‘Extensive’ abuse of women in EU countries revealed



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Thursday 6 March 2014

Last update 6 March 2014 5:21 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

VIENNA: A huge and damning new report revealed Wednesday “extensive” physical or sexual abuse against women across the EU, with one in three falling victim but far too few going to the police.
In addition, five percent of the 42,000 women interviewed said they have been raped, and just over one in 10 experienced sexual violence by an adult before they were 15, according to the survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
The report “shows that physical, sexual and psychological violence against women is an extensive human rights abuse in all EU Member States,” the Vienna-based group’s director Morten Kjaerum said.
Just over one in three women has experienced physical or sexual assault, and one in five from either a current or previous partner.
With the potential emotional and psychological consequences “long-lasting and deep-seated,” Kjaerum called for measures “to be taken to a new level now.”
The FRA, which talked face-to-face with at least 1,500 women aged 18-74 in each of the European Union’s 28 countries, said this was the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, both in the EU and worldwide.
“What emerges is a picture of extensive abuse that affects many women’s lives, but is systematically under-reported to the authorities,” Kjaerum said.
The FRA probed women’s experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence including domestic abuse, as well as stalking, sexual harassment, childhood experiences and the role of the Internet.
It highlighted how few women go to the authorities.
“Only 14 percent of women reported their most serious incident of intimate partner violence to the police, and 13 percent reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence to the police,” Kjaerum said.
Over a fifth of the victims of sexual violence suffered from panic attacks, over a third became depressed and 43 percent spoke of difficulty in subsequent relationships as a result. There were surprising differences between countries, although the FRA stressed that this could be due to a number of factors and not necessarily because levels of violence were higher.
Nordic countries, for example, came off badly, with 52 percent of women in Denmark saying they have suffered physical and/or sexual abuse, while the rate was 47 percent in Finland and 46 percent in Sweden.
At the other end of the scale, the report found that 19 percent of women in Poland said they had suffered in the same way, 20 percent in Austria and 21 percent in Croatia.
Angela Beausang, head of the Swedish women’s refuge network Roks, told AFP that the higher figure for Sweden was because women there are more aware of the law and how they can get help.
“I don’t think Sweden has a bigger problem than other countries ... I think other countries have a bigger problem because they don’t have the laws and the awareness,” Beausang said.
In Denmark, Karin Helweg-Larsen, a researcher at the National Institute of Public health, went so far as to describe the country differences as “grotesque.”
Croatia has “been through one of the bloodiest civil wars in Europe for many years. Of course many of those women experienced violence during that period,” she said.
Birgit Soederberg, chairwoman of LOKK, an umbrella organization for Danish women’s crisis centers, nevertheless said the figures were “alarmingly high.”
“We are lagging well behind on a number of parameters. For example, in Denmark we don’t want to criminalize the buying of sex and the view of women that entails,” she told Ritzau news agency.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The government has banned the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking at the holy sites during the Haj this year. Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Mohammed bin Naif, interior minister and president of the Supreme Haj Committee,...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has launched a program to vaccinate all public and private sector workers on Haj duty this year.Launching the program at the ministry’s headquarters here on Thursday, Tarif Al-Ama, undersecretary for treatment services...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was briefed Thursday about Murooj Jeddah residential project, located in the eastern part of the governorate. Representatives of the Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company, the executing company...
ANKARA: The Kingdom plans to highlight the country’s economic progress and influence globally at the meeting of G-20 Ministers of Labor and Employment here this week, said Mufrej Al-Haqabani, Saudi Arabia’s labor minister. In a statement to the Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj in Madinah has employed women workers for the first time.Six women have been employed to work only during the Haj season, on the orders of Bandar Hajjar, the Haj minister, said Mohammed Al-Bijawi, director of the ministry...
JUBAIL: The Educational Services Department of the Royal Commission for Jubail (RCJ), represented by Al-Rowad Smart Secondary School, has distributed iPad to all new students at the beginning of the new school year.Mohammed Al-Hajri, director of the...

Stay Connected

Facebook