Danish women subject to most violence in EU

Over half of Danish women have experienced physical abuse, the highest percentage among the 28 countries of the European Union. This is the finding of a new report released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

52 per cent of women in Denmark have experienced violence by men compared with 47 per cent in Finland and 46 per cent in Sweden. Next on the list are France and the UK where 44 per cent of women stated they had experienced violence.

According to the report women are best off in Poland where only 19 per cent have experienced violence, Austria (20 per cent), Croatia (21 per cent) or Slovenia, Malta and Spain (22 per cent).

The average throughout the EU is that 33 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.

The agency report, which is designed to provide reliable data on which to build preventive policies, also outlines general considerations about ways to halt violence against women.

The survey, which is based on face-to-face interviews between March and September 2013 with 42,000 women between the ages of 18 and 74 in the EU, is one of the most comprehensive ever made. For the first time it is now possible to make cross-country comparisons within the EU, which has been impossible until now because of differing surveying techniques, definitions, time frames and questions.

The definition of violence included physical, sexual and psychological violence in domestic and work settings, as well as stalking and harassment. Questions were also asked about violence in childhood and the role played by social networking in abuse.

According to the EU average only 33 per cent of abused women subsequently reported the episode to the police after the most serious episode of violence. And 75 per cent of women in top management positions had experienced sexual harassment.