Commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth the representative study “Health, Well-Being and Personal Safety of Women in Germany” published in 2004 contains important data, and data processing and therefore also findings in the area of violence against women.
An overall of 10 000 women between 16 and 85 years of age all over Germany were interviewed. The figures of the study indicated a mid till high prevalence of violence of women compared with international data. According to the findings 37% of all women have experienced physical violence, 13% have experienced sexual violence. 40 percent of the interviewed women answered yes when questioned on physical of sexual violence. 58% of all interviewed women have experienced various forms of sexual molestation. 42% of all interviewed women have experienced forms of physical violence, like systematic depreciation, humiliation, marginalization, defamation, severe insults, threats and psychosocial terrorization. About 25% of the women living in Germany have experienced forms of physical or sexual violence or both committed by their present of former partner.
Violence against women is committed primarily by men and primarily by the partner or in the domestic sphere. Risk factors are - next to separation or the intention of separation - also experiences of violence in childhood or youth, education, income and social strata.
The results of the representative study were used to develop further targeted measures for the improvement of the affected women’s situation. So far not all data collected have been interpreted. Therefore the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth commissioned various secondary analyses of the data, for example concerning the grade of severity of domestic violence, risk and protective factors, support needs of the affected and health consequences. These analyses also include an analysis on the health situation of migrant women in Germany and examine possible interconnections between ailments, migratory background, psychosocial situation and prevalence of violence in and outside the domestic sphere. The results of this secondary analysis were published in March 2008. A central result is the fact, that the health related higher decree of stress amongst migrant women is not primarily caused by a higher prevalence of violence, but by other factors such as their social situation, a lower standard of education and a lack of well secured integration into society and work life as well as the absence of a closely woven net of trustful relationships.
For the study on violence against women in relationships (Gewalt gegen Frauen in Paarbeziehungen) published at the beginning of March 2009, comprehensive data from the representative study was re-evaluated to obtain more detailed conclusions regarding the prevalence, degree and context of violence committed against women. According to the findings, violence against women occurs in all layers of society. Almost 70 percent of women affected by serious physical, psychological and sexual abuse earn their own living and a good third enjoy an average or high income. More than 60 percent of the women involved completed lower secondary education or higher secondary education and are skilled workers. Some 38 percent of women who suffer abuse possess the highest possible educational and training qualifications. The study contains detailed information on the prevalence of different degrees of violence and the contexts in which violence against women occurs. It looks at the factors that increase or decrease the risk of violence against women and how they impact on the support provided to victims.
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Germany to the questionnaire on violence against women, February 2009