One in four women in Latvia has experienced physical or sexual violence

Results of the Survey on Gender-Based Violence conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) and published August 19 show that a quarter of all females (25.1 %) and a fifth of males (19.5 %) aged 18–74 have experienced physical or sexual violence. 

Women are mainly victims of violent males – 88.8 %, compared to 18.1 % of women being victims of female perpetrators.

In cases of violence against men, 94.6 % are victims of male perpetrators and 11.3 % of female perpetrators.

Physical and sexual violence the most often is experienced by women aged 45–64 according to the survey (28.2 %), followed by men aged 30–44 (22.3 %).

When the definition of violence is broadened to include psychological violence in addition to phsical and/or sexual violence, the proportion of women saying they have experience as victims of violence rises to nearly third (30.1 %).

Psychological violence is the most common type of intimate partner violence – 28.8 % of women have experienced it. Physical violence (including threats) has been experienced by 15.4 % of women and sexual violence by 4.4 %. Each third women (30.1 %) has experienced several types of intimate partner violence.

Experienced violence may permanently damage physical and/or psychological well-being of a person. Physical injury because of physical or sexual violence was caused to 10 % of women, 9 % of women suffered from psychological consequences, and 8.3 % felt that their life was in danger during the violent episode.

Intimate partner psychological, physical (including threats) or sexual violence was experienced by 17.3 % of men. Psychological violence is the most common type of intimate partner violence also among men – 17.1 % of men have experienced it. Physical or sexual violence (mainly physical) was experienced by 3.4 % of men.

Women more often than men have experienced physical (including threats) or sexual violence more than once – 14.1 % and 2.6 %, respectively.

The grim statistics don't end there. In total 37.4 % of population in childhood have experienced physical or psychological violence against them and 36.3 % have experienced such violence between parents. In childhood, 33.2 % of women and 42.2 % of men have experienced mother or father using physical or psychological violence against them.

Each fourth women (25.9 %) and 28.4 % of men mentioned that until the age of 15 have been belittled/humiliated by parents. More than 18 % of women have been belittled/humiliated with words by both mother and father, among men those were 24.5 % belittled/humiliated by father and 18.4 % by mother.

Both parents using physical violence against them was experienced by 12.3 % of women. Among men, 24.4 % in childhood experienced father using physical violence against them and 14.8 % mother being violent.

Out of all violence victims aged 18–74, 76.5 % of women and 38.4 % of men reported the violence episode to someone. Physical or sexual violence episodes most often were reported to a close person (68.9 % of women and 32.8 % of men). Slightly more than one fourth of women (26.4 %) reported intimate partner violence also to the police. Among men, 7.2 % reported intimate partner violence to the health services (doctor, nurse), social service or called a helpline, contacted another victim support organisation.

More information on the survey and results are available in the collection of statistics Prevalence of Violence in Latvia 2021.

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