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HomeEstoniaStatistics: 41 pct of women in Estonia experience intimate partner violence

Statistics: 41 pct of women in Estonia experience intimate partner violence

A large-scale relationship survey conducted by Statistics Estonia reveals that 41 percent of women in Estonia have experienced intimate partner violence during their lifetime.

Jana Bruns, project manager at the population and social statistics department of Statistics Estonia, said that, according to the survey, 39 percent of women have suffered psychological violence, 13 percent physical violence, including threats, and 9 percent sexual violence. Young women aged 18-29 are the most likely to have experienced violence, while older women aged 65-74 are the least likely.

“29 percent of women have felt degraded, humiliated, or insulted by their partner, either in private or in front of other people. 23 percent say that their interaction with another man or woman has led to the woman’s partner becoming angry or having unfounded suspicions of infidelity,” Bruns said, adding that 19 percent of women have experienced behavior in a relationship that frightens or intimidates them, such as their partner yelling or breaking things.

A somewhat smaller share of women, 16 percent, say that their partner has restricted their contact with friends or stopped them from pursuing hobbies or other activities. 13 percent of respondents say that their partner has monitored their movements, such as tracked them via GPS, phone, or social networks.

Although women are most likely to experience psychological intimate partner violence, there are also some who have suffered physical violence. 16 percent of women admit that they have been deliberately pushed or shoved or had their hair pulled in a way that hurt or frightened them. 13 percent of respondents report that their partner has deliberately thrown something at them or slapped them, so that the victim was hurt or scared, and 12 percent have felt frightened because they have been threatened with harm.

The project manager of the relationship survey explained that 58 percent of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence have also been physically harmed by a former partner.

“In the current relationship, 47 percent of women who have suffered violence have been injured,” she said, adding that 22 percent of women whose current partner has been violent have felt their life was at risk.

In the case of an attack by a former partner, the percentage is 38.

“With regard to the frequency of violence, it is unfortunately the case that, if it is already present in any form, there are significantly more victims who experience it repeatedly. Thus, among those who have suffered physical violence in their current relationship, 29 percent have experienced it once and 41 percent have experienced it several times,” she said.

Altogether 15 percent of women have experienced physical violence in a previous relationship once and 60 percent on more than one occasion.

Of women who have experienced intimate partner violence, 80 percent say the attacker was a former partner.

“This is a clear indication of a preference to leave an abusive relationship,” Bruns said, pointing out that the vast majority of those who were abused by a previous partner have experienced violence from only one former partner, with the share being 94 percent. Altogether 6 percent of the women surveyed had had more than one violent ex-partner.

It also turns out that women with lower levels of education are more vulnerable.

“Of those with higher education, 38 percent have experienced intimate partner violence. Among women with basic education, as much as 10 percent more — 48 percent,” Bruns said.

Women who are unemployed are also somewhat more likely to experience violence than working women.

Alcohol greatly influences the dynamics of relationships as well.

“Nearly half of the violent episodes, 44 percent, occur when a woman’s partner has consumed alcohol,” the project manager said.

More than half of women, or 56 percent, who have experienced intimate partner violence in the past five years have reported it to someone.

“When people talk about violence, it is usually to those close to them. Few, 2-6 percent, report violence to authorities, such as social workers, police, women’s shelters, or religious institutions. The reason given for not alerting the police is usually that the incident was not serious enough, or that it was a family matter,” Bruns said.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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