In 2008, with a view to making an exhaustive evaluation of the extent of domestic violence in Lithuania, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania carried out a survey. The purpose of the survey was to analyse and evaluate the prevalence of domestic violence against women by different forms of violence, the status of a victim and an abuser, and the condition of victims of domestic violence, as well as to conduct a comparative analysis with reference to previous surveys. The objectives of the survey were as follows: to analyse and evaluate prevalence of violence against women; to ascertain the number of women who suffer from domestic violence in Lithuania; to identify and compare the most prevalent forms of domestic violence against women and other manifestations of domestic violence; to identify the factors that make influence on domestic violence against women; to ascertain the frequency of calls for help by women to different institutions; to ascertain and evaluate the situation of victims of domestic violence and their awareness about availability of assistance; to carry out a comparative analysis with reference to the surveys conducted in 1997 and 2002.
The method of the survey was a representative telephone inquiry of 1000 women, aged 18-74, residing in Lithuania. The conclusions of the survey confirmed that violent experience was "transferable". The analysis of the most frequent forms of violence against women showed that psychological violence was used most frequently. It was used against most women who suffered from violence. As many as half of all women who suffered from violence were abused physically. Typically, violence is used in a combination of forms. Incidence of violence against women is similar in all social-demographic groups, regardless of income, education, place of residence, etc. However, as many as half of the respondents who reported violence stated that typically the abuser was under the effect of alcohol. Most women had heard about organisations which provided assistance to women; approximately one-fifth of them knew their names and contacts. On the other hand, one-third of women who suffer from violence said that they never called for help to any organisations or their relatives. The findings of the survey not only showed the extent of violence, its forms and other characteristics, but also revealed deep and long-standing related problems: violence "transferability" from generation to generation and poor perception of violence, which leads to the problem of tolerance to violence. The fact that violence is usually hidden from society prevents from effective provision of assistance for women victims and abusers.
The findings of the survey were presented during the annual campaign "16 days free of violence against women." The full report of the survey is available on the website of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, under the rubric "Moksliniai tyrimai" (Scientific Research).
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Lithuania to the questionnaire on violence against women; CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/4/Add.1, p. 9-10