Joanna Goodey, a co-author of the FRA survey of violence against women in Europe. Photo supplied by the Agency.
Earlier this month, the grandly titled Fundamental Rights Agency came out with a claim that is both typically outlandish and impossible to substantiate. A BBC report on its findings says: “About a third of all women in the EU have experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15, according to a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.”
The FRA’s data can be found on its website together with many statistics and findings from the survey. The survey, on what is now termed gender-based violence against women, claims to have interviewed over 40,000 women aged 18-74 years in the 27 European Union Member States and Croatia over a six month period. Curiously, this survey was carried out in 2012, which is a rather lengthy reporting time, but does it contain anything of merit?
Let us begin with semantics, a third of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence, drawing no distinction between the two. Is it really so surprising that a person of either sex should have experienced some kind of physical violence from the age of 18? A slapped face or a shove in the back are both violence. So is a knife attack. Without some more meaningful breakdown, these figures tell us little or nothing, although they imply that Europe is a very unsafe place for women, which is clearly not the case.
The report alludes also to psychological violence, which means what? Other “researchers” have been known to go even further and report something called “economic violence”.
Another big flaw with this survey as with all manner of surveys is that it relies on the honesty and accuracy of those answering the questions. Official crime figures, including of convictions, are far more reliable and a much better indication of the actual violence experienced by people in all walks of life.
This survey is remiscent of the great Asian mass rape hoax, and similar nonsense that is trotted out in the United States including about “rape culture”. In short, they are all ideologically driven.
That being said, Joanna Goodey, who co-authored this piece of arrant nonsense, will take little comfort from one of its reviewers. Dr Nazreen Nawaz interprets its results as the failure of “gender equality laws”. Her solution is to restore the Caliphate. Bring it on, sister!
[The above article was published originally March 16, 2014].
Back To AllVoices Index