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Expert in Prague: Every ninth woman in EU faced sexual violence

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Prague, Nov 14 (CTK) – Every ninth woman in the EU has encountered some form of sexual violence, 55 percent have experienced sexual harassment and 5 percent were victims of sexual assault, an EU-wide research showed, presented at a conference in Prague on Tuesday.

The conference on data collection and research of domestic violence was organised by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Ursula Till-Tentschert of FRA presented the research results, which involved data from 42,000 women between 15-74 years old.

Every third woman has experienced physical or sexual violence. Eight percent of women have experienced it in the past 12 months. This means 13 million women in the EU, Till-Tentschert said.

She added the actual numbers were much higher than the numbers of reported cases because most women do not contact the police or seek another help.

This concerns particularly sexual violence, which is still taboo and stigmatised, she added.

The European research data for the Czech Republic showed that 32 percent of women experienced violence, seven percent experienced sexual violence from a partner and four percent experienced it from a stranger, while 47 percent have encountered partner’s psychic pressure or maltreatment.

“The Czech Republic shows attributes of great tolerance of sexism and violence against women and also against children. The victims do not know where to turn to for help. An adequate network of services and education is still missing,” Hana Stelzerova, director of the Czech Women’s Lobby, said.

Stelzerova said the Czech attitude was revealed during the recent campaign against sexual harassment #MeToo, which was accompanied by hateful or trivializing comments.

Stelzerova pointed out the idea widespread in the Czech Republic that women are initiating the attacks by their inappropriate behaviour.

Deputy Minister for Human Rights Martina Stepankova said a Czech Charles University 2015 research confirms the European findings in that 36 percent of women in the Czech Republic experienced violence.

In May 2016, the country signed the Istanbul Convention. One of the articles of the convention is related to the collection of relevant data about the situation, which is then to be used as a ground for help to victims and for prevention.

Stepankova said the convention should be finally ratified in 2018.

The Eurostat office is currently preparing another research on violence on women.

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