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Guidelines for Producing Statistics on Violence against Women

Statistical surveys

image of Guidelines for Producing Statistics on Violence against Women

Violence against women is an obstacle to achieving the objectives of equality, development and peace. It violates the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. In all societies, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture. Data on the prevalence and incidence of various forms of violence against women, as well as the causes and consequences of violence, are the starting point for developing effective mechanisms at policy levels to eradicate this phenomenon. Properly designed and executed, surveys produce the most reliable data on the prevalence of violence and shed light on the scope, nature and consequences of many types of violence against women. Surveys can also collect information on circumstances surrounding violence, health consequences and the actions the women took to seek help.

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Planning a survey on violence against women

Careful planning is critical to the success of any survey or survey module on violence against women. General principles and rules for all statistical sample surveys are applicable to these specialized surveys but, in addition, specific considerations should be taken into account in order to ensure the quality and reliability of the results as well as the ethical and safe conduct of the survey throughout all phases. Topics addressed in this chapter include preparatory processes and the detailed steps required to plan such surveys in compliance with international statistical standards. Attention is given to the following steps: establishing the legal basis; consultation with stakeholders; specifying the objectives of the survey; choosing the mode of data collection; budget and timeline; establishing the organizational structure; sample design; selection of interviewers; and study protocol. The essential steps in planning a survey on violence against women are listed in table III.1. Some of the steps will be addressed in subsequent chapters.

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