Quantitative data on violence against women and girls
For example, UNDP Albania, UNICEF and UNDP Small Arms Project supported the Albanian Institute of Statistics in conducting a national domestic violence survey in Albania. The survey report, Domestic Violence in Albania: A national population-based survey was published in March of 2009. The goal of this significant project was to establish national baseline data on domestic violence in Albania. It is the first of its kind ever done in Albania.
For example, the county of Kazakhstan has created an automated databank in the Department of Public Safety of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which allows the government to obtain data on the age of the victim, the consequences of the violence, and the criminal disposition of the case, among other factors.
For example, the Baseline Survey on Domestic Violence and HIV (2008) conducted by the Centre for Media Studies and Breakthrough of India anchored a three-year campaign to combat domestic violence and discrimination against women with HIV/AIDS. The study created benchmarks on existing knowledge, attitude and practice about domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) of India, and on attitudes on inter-spousal communication, condom use and negotiation, and sources of information about these issues.
The UNFPA and the National Statistical Service of Armenia implemented a quantitative survey to collect data on gender-based violence in 2009-2010, in response to the need for official data on violence against women and girls, so that the importance of addressing the problem could be substantiated. They sought to create an official baseline for policy makers in Armenia to utilize in the formation of policies and programmes to reduce gender-based violence. Survey administrators collected representative information at the Marz, or regional level in Armenia. (There are 11 marzes in Armenia.) Using the database of addresses from the 2001 population census, field workers visited nearly 5000 households and administered questionnaires on gender-based violence. Data was coded and entered into a computerized database. A working group, consisting of Ministry officials, police, and members of civil society, led by a sociologist and gender expert, was created to analyze the data. The results will be published during the second quarter of 2010. See: www.genderbasedviolence.net.
Qualitative data is data that goes beyond statistics. It is data from interviews, descriptions, case studies, and observations. The United Nations Secretary-General’s in-depth study on all forms of violence against women (2006) stated “Qualitative methods are necessary to complement quantitative surveys, for example to understand the complexities and nuances of experiences from the respondent’s point of view…qualitative research findings are useful in assessing women’s needs and constraints, community needs, designing prevention campaigns, planning and evaluating interventions and engaging community actors via participatory research.” Sec. 217
Qualitative data can be obtained by a number of methods:
For example, the Ukrainian NGO Progressive Women held a focus group with survivors of domestic violence, asking them “In your view, what would be the perfect resolution of domestic violence by the state?” The NGO reported that victims had creative ideas: the emergency number should be 2 or 3 digits that are closely spaced on a telephone so that the buttons are easy to push in a stressful situation; a male and female police officer team should arrive within 15 minutes; victims should be questioned in a room away from the perpetrator; specialized courts should consider the case; penalties should include community service and a stay in a special “Center for Rehabilitation of the Offenders;” and social services should offer victim support for many months. Importantly, victims wanted domestic violence to be classified as a criminal offense, so that responsibility for collecting evidence would be transferred from the woman to the state.
For example, in Domestic Violence in Brazil: Examining Obstacles and Approaches to Promote Legislative Reform (2010), the researcher observing a focus group noted that victims felt a sense of hopelessness and lack of judicial protection because of the government’s ineffective actions in domestic violence cases. One victim asked “how she would explain to her children that it was morally wrongful to batter when there was no judicial authority to support this message.” p. 88
For example, when activists in Ukraine investigated the question of why women did not report violence to the police, they accompanied police patrols on domestic violence cases, interviewed victims, and observed trials. They observed first hand the delay that victims experience when they call the police, and that the sanction most often given was a fine, which, since it came from the family budget, worsened the financial situation of the victim. They observed that the perpetrator, detained for only 12 hours, continued to live with the victim in most cases. They observed that regular physicians did not want to do the paperwork to document injuries, and that forensic doctors may examine a women only by police request, and the procedure to obtain this request is very difficult. From: Ukrainian NGO Progressive Women.
Data may be obtained from surveys, administrative statistics, or criminal statistics:
Data should be collected according to United Nations Principles of Official Statistics.
For more information on survey methodology, see: Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists (2005).
When monitoring legislation on violence against women and girls, it is most effective to utilize a combination of qualitative and quantitative monitoring. Quantitative data on the number of complaints and cases of domestic violence which reach the court system is more meaningful when combined with qualitative data such as interviews with advocates or survivors who have had experience with barriers to court access which survivors experience. Utilizing both methods of research allows a researcher to identify inconsistencies and truths which may not be immediately evident when only one type of data is employed.
This type of monitoring requires a “situation analysis” which describes multiple factors around the issue of violence, including: specifics of the law; interviewees’ reports of experiences of victims of violence; and the government response to the violence. The report should evaluate the adequacy of the government response in attaining victim safety and offender accountability, and make recommendations to all stakeholders.
See: Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists (2005), Chapter Three.
For example, the Baseline Survey on Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Rwanda (2008) combined quantitative data on sexual and physical violence with qualitative data that examined the effects on survivors and evaluated stakeholder actions to address and prevent gender-based violence.
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