Gender-based violence in EU: capturing accurate data

The share of persons who experience violence is an important aspect in well-being and safety. The Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025 emphasizes that gender-based violence is still one of our societies’ biggest challenges and that it is deeply rooted in gender inequality – meaning that women and girls, of all ages and backgrounds, are most affected. 

To develop efficient and effective policy and legal responses to end gender-based violence, accurate data are necessary. The population survey to measure and monitor gender-based violence is an important tool, as there is high under-reporting in official administrative-based data of this kind of experiences.

The development of the EU-wide survey on gender-based violence started in 2016, supported by EU countries and experts from a range of relevant organisations and disciplines. The aim was to develop a survey questionnaire and methodology to measure gender-based violence as defined by the Istanbul Convention

The pre-testing of the questionnaire was done in 8 countries and the pilot survey was conducted in 14 countries over the 2017-2019 period. The methodological documents were improved based on testing outcomes and are now combined in the “Methodological manual for the EU survey on gender-based violence against women and other forms of inter-personal violence (EU-GBV)”. 

This manual provides information and guidance on all the technical and methodological aspects of the survey. These include the EU-GBV questionnaire, information on methodological elements together with practical examples on preparing the survey and collecting and processing the data, the structure of the dataset and a description of the variables, indicators to be published, recommendations for dissemination and interpretation of the results, and finally, guidance on how to assess and report the survey quality.

The survey implementation at national level started on a voluntary basis in 2020, and currently, 18 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain) and Iceland have started the process. The other EU countries will either join the project next year, compile the data on the basis of a national survey on violence against women, or implement a joined data collection, coordinated by the EU agencies FRA and EIGE following the EU-GBV survey manual.

Data collection is planned to be finished in the first quarter of 2023 and data on gender-based violence will be published shortly after that.

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