Institutional networking to increase knowledge and the use of administrative data on violence against women (VAW)
The interdepartmental unit for protecting women against violence and for combating trafficking in human beings (MIPROF) was created in January 2013 and is attached to the French Ministry in charge of women’s rights. This unit has been mainly charged to enhance global knowledge on VAW in France, develop training programmes for professionals who take charge of women who are victims of violence and coordinate the actions against trafficking in human beings at a national level.
Concerning the enhancement of knowledge on VAW, MIPROF has based its work on the recommendations of the Istanbul Convention. This involves a strengthened attention to administrative data. MIPROF has set up a working group gathering the main institutional actors who produce data on VAW.
Thus, MIPROF works in close collaboration with the statistical departments of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice in order to gather available data and to set up relevant indicators. These data are published every year on 25 November in the MIPROF publication La lettre de l’Observatoire national des violences faites aux femmes.
MIPROF also works on data from population-based surveys and NGOs’ activities reports.
The interdepartmental unit for protecting women against violence and for combating trafficking in human beings (MIPROF) was created by Decree No. 2013-07 of 3 January 2013 and is attached to the French Ministry in charge of women rights.
This structure has been assigned to three main missions:
- gathering, analysing and disseminating information and data related to violence against women (VAW)
- creating training programmes for professionals who take charge of women who are victims of violence
- coordinating the actions against trafficking in human beings at a national level.
To exercise its duties, the mission has set up a steering committee composed of representatives of local authorities, state representatives, high-profile experts and representatives of local organisations involved in VAW.
This mission responds to the recommendations of the European Convention on preventing VAW and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). For its operation and development, the mission draws on the capacities of the staff of the different ministries, especially those of the Ministry for Women’s Rights.
In the aim of improving global knowledge on VAW in France, the mission mainly works on three different kinds of data: administrative data, population-based surveys and statistics from the NGOs’ activities.
To enhance the quality and availability of administrative data on VAW, MIPROF works in a close partnership with administrative data producers. This work is undertaken to pursue three main requirements: data must respond to quality standards, they must be useful for enhancing the understanding of VAW and improving the way that public authorities respond to victims needs and, eventually, they must be disseminated as broadly as possible.
The working group on VAW statistics
The mission created a working group on VAW statistics in 2013, which meets every 3 months.
The working group is composed of representatives of the following services:
- Service for Women’s Rights
- Statistical Service of the Ministry of Home Affairs and of the Direction of Judicial Police (SSMSI / DCPJ / ministère de l'Intérieur)
- Direction of National Police (Ministry for Home Affairs)
- Direction of National Gendarmerie (Ministry for Home Affairs)
- Delegation for Victims (delegation aux victims – DAV) which depends on the Direction of National Police of the Ministry of Home Affairs
- Statistical Service of the Ministry of Justice
- National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE)
- French National Supervisory Body on Crime and Punishment (ONDRP), a department of the French National Institute for Advanced Studies in Security and Justice
- French Institute for Demographic Studies (research institute)
- Direction for Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (DREES).
The working group is engaged on:
- making an inventory of available administrative data
- working on the methodological standardisation, especially the harmonisation of definitions used by various actors in charge of data collection
- determining how data should be aggregated and setting up a range of indicators
- organising data transmission to the MIPROF
The creation of MIPROF and especially the working group on statistics on VAW gave impetus to the different ministerial services in the sense that MIPROF has been awarded this task so they had to produce specific data on violence against women on a regular basis. It allowed them to discover the legal European framework on violence against women.
Each year, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the Ministry in charge of Women’s rights publishes data which have been gathered by the working group. This publication appears in La lettre de l’Observatoire national des violences faites aux femmes which is produced by MIPROF. This letter published in November 2015 can be found on the MIPROF website: http://stop-violences-femmes.gouv.fr/no8-Violences-faites-aux-femmes.html.
The publication of these figures is an essential component of the national public policies against VAW. It provides all actors involved in this fight with a common knowledge on the extent and the special features related to VAW.
The letter provides a comprehensive picture of violence against women in France both on the basis of a survey on domestic violence and, particularly, on the elaboration of administrative data derived from the statistical services of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior (police and gendarmerie databases). In particular, it releases the estimated number of victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) annually (with research surveys), the number of homicides by the intimate partner, the number of condemnations for violence against the partner, the number of emergency and barring orders, the estimated number of children living with parents whose mother suffers from IPV. The letter also displays similar figures on sexual violence.
Specific issues of the letter have been produced on other kinds of violence for which annual data are not available such as forced marriages, female sexual mutilations and prostitution.
Improving statistical capacity at institutional level
As the letter from MIPROF is published regularly, the ministerial statistical services have to update the data continuously and pay attention to the new needs expressed by MIPROF when they reorganise their data collection system. Such updating is very important in order to improve the data collection in the long term. Due to this mission, figures that already exist in different ministries are now regularly produced and compiled in the same letter. This gives the clearest view of the situation and will allow tracking of trends and progress. For journalists, social workers and other professionals, as well as for the awareness of the whole population, this letter is a very useful tool.
The fact that the mission’s working group is composed of different ministerial statistical services and national research institutes is a success factor on disseminating information and data on VAW coming from different sources: research surveys, police and justice data and NGO data, with the involvement of different national stakeholders with responsibility in collecting data on violence.
Concerning administrative data, the final aim pursued by the working group is to implement an information system on VAW from the collection of disaggregated data to the publication of national indicators.
Secretary-General of MIPROF
+33 1 40 56 88 81
National coordinator for combating violence against women (member of MIPROF)
+33 1 42 75 86 91