A new study launched today by the European Institute for Gender Equality calls for more reliable and better coordinated police and judicial data collection on domestic abuse.
In anticipation of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women this Sunday, November 25, the European Institute for Gender Equality has produced a series of country-specific recommendations to help Member States improve the quality, availability and comparability of data pertaining to intimate partner violence, defined by the institute as “all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim”.
Data on intimate partner violence is sporadic across the EU, the European Institute for Gender Equality says, due in part to high levels of underreporting of abuse. Other factors affecting the quality and reliability of the data include the differing definitions of abuse and gendered crimes between Member States; as well as different standards of recording such crimes and failure to identify when victims and perpetrators of abuse have a prior relationship
European Institute for Gender Equality director Virginija Langbakk said: “Data from police and the judiciary is a valuable source of information on violence against women. It can help Member States check if their actions to prevent violence, protect victims and punish perpetrators are working and help them design more effective measures in the future. However, it is crucial that trust in police is raised to encourage more women to come forward and report cases of violence.”
The European Institute for Gender Equality has developed factsheets which lay out the role the police and the judiciary play in collecting administrative data around domestic and gendered violence incidents. In July the institute released a list of 13 indicators to support Member States’ police and judicial sectors in standardising intimate partner violence reporting practices and data collection. A full report of the results of the study will be released in 2019.