Refuge responds to EU report on violence against women

A new survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), released today, asked 42,000 women from the 28 EU member states about their experiences of abuse. Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe for violence against women.


Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of RefugeSandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, says:


“This new report is a wake-up call. Its findings should send shockwaves through governments across Europe – including our own.

It is disgraceful that 33% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. That amounts to 62 million women. This figure is barely comprehensible.  If this many people were affected by a disease, there would be a national outcry.

The report also shows that Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused – a shameful accolade. I have worked with victims of domestic violence for over 35 years – it saddens me that violence, brutality and fear still blight the lives of so many women and children. Every week two women are killed by current or former partners, and every day our refuges are full to bursting.

The truth is we are living in a warzone. Violence against women takes casualties on a massive scale.

It is time to put an end to this horrific crime. Enough is enough. I urge the Prime Minister to ratify the Istanbul Convention without delay, and to put in place robust measures to ensure that women and children are given the most basic of all human rights – the right to live in safety.”