European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has today published a ground-breaking, first, EU wide survey on violence against women. It is based on 42,000 interviews with women in the 28 Member States of the European Union. Morten Kjaerum, director of FRA, writes in his foreword to the report that :
The survey asked women about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including incidents of intimate partner violence (‘domestic violence’), and also asked about 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. What emerges is a picture of extensive abuse that affects many women’s lives, but is systematically under-reported to the authorities. For example, one in 10 women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, and one in 20 has been raped. Just over one in five women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence from either a current or previous partner, and just over one in 10 women indicates that they have experienced some form of sexual violence by an adult before they were 15 years old. Yet, as an illustration, only 14 % of women reported their most serious incident of intimate partner violence to the police, and 13 % reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence to the police.