Danish women often the victims of violence

Physical, psychological and sexual abuse a routine part of their everyday life, says EU study

Danish women are increasingly being subjected to domestic violence, physical attacks, stalking and sexual harassment. According to a study of 42,000 women in 28 EU countries published today by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Denmark is at the top end of the scale in almost every parameter when it comes to violence against women.

Some 52 percent of the Danish women surveyed said they had been victims of physical or sexual violence – well above the EU average of 33 percent. Meanwhile 37 percent of Danish women indicated they have been subjected to sexual harassment within the last year, and 32 percent said they have been the victims of physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partner.

Alcohol part of the problem
The report concluded that the "more dominant an alcohol culture a country has, the higher the level of violence against women”.

“It comes as a surprise to us that Denmark registers so high in almost all the parameters,” FRA head Morten Kjaerum told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “The numbers do not lie; there is a big problem that needs to be looked at.”

Kjaerum said that a partial explanation could be that it is culturally acceptable in Denmark to talk about violence and sexual offences.

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Connected to workplaces
Manu Sareen (R), the equality minister, said that part of the explanation for the high Danish numbers could be found in the workplace. Danish women often work in jobs that increase the risk of them being exposed to violence.

“The figures show there is a need for a solid effort,” Sareen told Jyllands-Posten. “We need to reduce the number of women subjected to violence and harassment both at home and at work.”