EIGE’s work on gender-based violence

Since 2010 the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has carried out several groundbreaking studies and collected data and resources related to gender-based violence. EIGE provides research and statistical data, along with insights for policymakers at national and EU level, in order to support the institutions and experts engaged in preventing and combating gender-based violence in the European Union and beyond. By providing critical research and expertise, included country-specific factsheets and recommendations, EIGE is helping the EU and its Member States to understand the scale of the problem and ultimately eradicate it.

Eradicating gender-based violence is a priority of the EU, with European directives such as the Victims’ Rights Directive (Directive 2012/29/EU) and the European Protection Order (Directive 2011/99/EU), and international legislation and initiatives such as the Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe, Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence)  and the Beijing Platform for Action requiring Member States to uphold commitments to tackle gender-based violence. EIGE’s work is therefore driven by the need to aid Member States in fulfilling these responsibilities. EIGE aspires to create a robust and coordinated system across the EU of combatting gender-based violence, harmonising understanding of the phenomenon and the steps needed to fight it.

EIGE works on areas that are under reported and underrepresented within studies on violence against women, working to continually broaden understandings and fill in data gaps. EIGE’s contribution to extending research in the area aims to assist policymakers in designing better prevention and protection measures to tackle gender-based violence in the EU.

EIGE applies a gender analysis within its work on gender-based violence. The purpose of undertaking a gender analysis is primarily to make visible the fact that gender relations are likely to impact the solution to a problem, to indicate the form that impact will take and to propose mitigating factors or alternative courses of action. In 2014 and 2018 EIGE studied important legislation underpinning EU laws on issues of violence against women, the Victims' Rights Directive (Directive 2012/29/EU) and Anti-Trafficking Directive (Directive 2011/36/EU) respectively, from a gendered analytic position in order to make information available so that the EU framework for combating violence against women considers the specific experiences and needs of victims.

Achieving consistency of understanding of forms of violence against women across the EU is another priority of EIGE’s work and crucial for acquiring high quality data within the EU. Collecting consistent and high quality data is essential for Member States to fulfil their legislative commitments regarding gender-based violence. Therefore, EIGE works to create comprehensive definitions for forms of violence, as well as creating indicators for data collection for the police and judiciary. 

Our work in 2017 on cyber violence and our ongoing focus on administrative data collection have widened understanding on the nature and prevalence of gender-based violence in its many manifestations, and have informed policy makers in the design and implementation of effective policies that combat it. Similarly, with EIGE’s study on risk assessment and risk management by police of intimate partner violence, the mapping of current tools used within Member States and the shaping of subsequent recommendations for improvement contributed to a clearer understanding of how to identify and deal with incidences of violence against women within the EU.

Member States are committed to continual monitoring and assessment of gender-based violence, and so EIGE works to create effective methodologies and guidelines for assessment. In 2014 EIGE’s Cost of Violence study identified and recommended appropriate methodologies to measure the cost of gender-based and intimate partner violence in Member States. Whilst since 2013 EIGE has been offering a common methodological framework to estimate the prevalence of female genital mutilation, contributing to the provision of comparable data across the EU. Our methodologies support the European institutions and EU Member States in providing more accurate qualitative and quantitative information on forms of violence against women.