Statistics – Prevalence of violence against women
Violence against women is present in all societies, and the differences pertain to dominant forms of violence, attitude towards violence, as well as mechanisms for the protection of women victims of violence. The problems that we face today are still associated with the low number of reported cases of violence against women. Reasons for not reporting are numerous, and include:
- fear of the perpetrator
- lengthy judicial processes
- low penalties for perpetrators
- distrust in competent institutions
- fear that one will not be believed
- fear that one will be blamed for traumatic experience
- feelings of guilt and responsibility
- in most cases the perpetrators are an acquaintance and/or a close person to the victim, which further complicates the decision about the report of violence.
All listed reasons contribute to the fact that sexual violence is considered one of the least reported crimes with the highest proportion of dark figures. The ratio of reported rape cases to unreported ones is one to 15-20, while the ratio pertaining to reported versus unreported cases of domestic violence is one to ten.
Official data of the Ministry of Interior on domestic violence:
According to official information from the police, since the adoption of the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence in 2003, each year between 11 500 and 17 500 perpetrators have been reported, and between 14 500 and 22 200 victims of these offenses, of whom women were the victims in 64% to 71% of cases, depending on the year.
Regarding violent conduct within a family, within the meaning of the Criminal Code (Article 215a), the official police data show that each year there have been reported between 1400 and almost 2000 criminal offenses, and there have been between 1500 and 2100 injured people, of whom women were the victims in 75% to 80% of cases.
As for the number of women who are murdered each year, police data reveals a disturbing number of 22-45 women per year. Their current or former partners/husbands were the perpetrators in 20% to even 65% of cases.
Data on sexual violence:
According to official data of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia, for the past several years, there has been neither a significant increase nor decrease in the number of reports of crimes against sexual freedom and sexual morality (Criminal Code of Croatia, Section 14). There were between 461-761 reported cases.
From 2000 until 2010, a total of 6625 crimes of sexual violence have been reported, the most frequent being sexual misconduct 34% (2252 offenses), followed by rape, 15% (958 offenses), satisfying lust in the presence of a child or a juvenile 14% (921 offense), and sexual intercourse with a child 10 % (677 offenses). Other criminal offenses comprise less than 10% of reported cases of sexual violence.
From 2000 until 2010, a total of 1228 offenses of rape have been reported, which includes 958 committed and 270 attempted acts. On average, there are between 90 and 150 reports annually of such criminal offenses.
Sex of victims
Domestic and sexual violence are the two basic forms of gender-based violence, which means that in more than 90% of cases women are the victims, as confirmed by the official data of the Ministry of Interior.
Age of victims
Rape victims are most often young people between 19-30 years old (43%), and minors, while victims of domestic violence are predominantly adult women.
Detailed data on prevalence of violence against women:
Data of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (www.mup.hr):
Research data and reports of civil society organizations:
Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb (2003). Economic aspects of domestic violence: societal cost of ignoring and tolerating violence against women.
Women’s Room (2005). Status of women’s sexual rights in Croatia.
Women’s Room (2007). Gender prism of sexual rights of youth.
Women’s Room (2010). Civil society organizations providing specialized services to victims of violence as key stakeholders in the process of the democratization of society.
Office of Sex Equality of the Government of Croatia and Women’s Room (2010). Protection of rights and provision of support to victims/witnesses of domestic violence.
Women’s Room (2011). Sexual violence in Croatia 2000 – 2010
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