Survey: Nearly one in two Czech women have experienced domestic abuse

A fresh survey suggests that nearly one in two Czech women at one point in their lives have become victims of some form of domestic abuse. The poll, published by the NGO proFem, also concludes that about a third of those affected are afraid to speak up. One of the authors of the survey, sociologist Kamil Kunc, explains its conclusions, what can be done to improve the situation and how the data was gathered.

“Our survey was compiled by gathering data from a representative sample of women living in the Czech Republic. So we approached those 18 and older, and since we wanted to get detailed information on the extent of domestic violence, we polled 3000 women. We collected data via an online questionnaire, because it is cost effective and appropriate for surveys with very personal questions.”

What were the main results?

“Some 40 percent of Czech women have at one point become the victim of domestic violence. And 11 percent stated that they had become the victim of domestic violence in the course of the last year. If we look to prevention, 69 percent of those women polled believe that in the Czech Republic, measures to prevent domestic violence are insufficient.”

That number is rather high. What are the reasons for the extent of domestic abuse in the Czech Republic?

“It is quite high but unfortunately, experts and people involved with victims are not shocked by them. Domestic violence is a widespread and hidden social problem. It is not widely discussed in public. There have been a number of surveys on the issue in the past ten years, and sadly, the results consistently confirm a rate of 40 to 50 percent of Czech women have been victims of domestic abuse.”

Illustrative photo: Štěpánka Budková
Of those affected, about a third does not tell anyone that they have been abused. But for those two thirds who do step forward, what can they do after becoming a victim and how can the situation be improved?

“For victims it is important to know what to do in the situation and how to proceed. Also, for victims it is vital that they have access to free legal aid. I think those two things could really improve the situation very much.”