By Martin Banks - 9th May 2012
Violence against women is one of the barriers to achieving gender equality
A major new study has been launched on 'domestic violence' in a bid to establish the scale of the problem across the EU.
The research, to be carried out by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, aims to address what is said to be a lack of regular and comparable data on violence against women.
While member states have conducted relevant surveys, the results are said to be dated and not comparable.
The EU-wide survey is the first of its kind to randomly sample and interview 40,000 women across each member states.
About 1500 women will be questioned in each country but the survey will not measure all types of violence against women, such as trafficking in women.
It will, says the agency, produce "robust, comparable" data that policymakers "need to shape informed, targeted" policies.
The results will be made public in 2013.
Virginija Langbakk, director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, said, "Gender-based violence is fundamentally rooted in gender inequality it impacts on the future of women and of men in Europe and the institute cannot ignore the situation."
"This new cooperation arrangement with our sister agency, the FRA, will allow us to pool resources and share valuable expertise and data in the pursuit of this goal", she added.
"The cooperation agreement will ensure that the expertise provided by both agencies is shared and that there is no duplication in the work of the two bodies".
Morten Kjaerum, director of the FRA, commented, "Violence against women is one of the barriers to achieving gender equality in the EU that must be tackled.
"We need a clear picture of the extent of this grave violation of human rights, which affects people we live or work with on a daily basis.
"Working with the EIGE, the agency will gather this evidence, so that policy-makers can make informed decisions about how to put a stop to it."