Women and violence
In early May, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights presented the results of their survey looking at gender-based violence against women in the European Union. The FRA conducted one-on-one interviews with 42,000 women from all 28 member states, asking them about their experiences with physical and sexual violence. The survey found that violence against women was widespread albeit underreported. In just the 12 months preceding the survey, an estimated 13 million women in the EU had experienced physical violence, and an estimated 3.7 million had experienced sexual violence. Among the survey’s other findings:
- Though both men and women commit violence against women, men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of violence. In situations where the victim and her attacker were not in an intimate relationship, men were responsible for 67 percent of physical violence and 97 percent of sexual violence. Of the women in same-sex relationships at the time of the survey, 11 percent said their partner had been violent toward them.
- Rape and attempted rape are the most prevalent forms of sexual violence against women. Forty-six percent of women who said they had experienced sexual violence by their current partner said they had been forced into sexual intercourse once, and 31 percent said they had been forced into sexual intercourse at least six times. One in 10 women who reported sexual violence by a non-partner had been gang-raped.
- Education produces mixed results. Educated partners were less likely to commit violence against a woman, but a woman’s level of education had no effect on whether she had been attacked by a partner. Yet, when asked about violence by non-partners, women with more education were more likely to have experienced violence: 27 percent of women with a tertiary education have been physically and/or sexually attacked by a non-partner, compared to 22 percent of women with a secondary education and 19 percent of women with a primary education.
On May 23, Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, killed six people and wounded 13 more before taking his own life. According to video journals Rodger posted to YouTube, one of the primary motivations for his killing spree was revenge against women for what he saw as sexual rejection. On Twitter, the massacre spawned a discussion — marked with the hashtag #YesAllWomen — about threat of gender-based violence all women face. This map shows how geotagged tweets using the hashtag took off in the days following the event.
Related - Phyllis Zagano discusses the prevalence of rape culture in India at National Catholic Reporter.