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A recent study study has found that 47 per cent of Finnish women over the age of 15 have experienced physical or sexual violence. Of the 28 countries surveyed only Denmark surpasses Finland in terms of violence.

Up to 10 per cent of Finnish women interviewed for the research experienced violence during last year. The results were revealed in the research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) that surveyed violence towards women and girls worldwide.

“The figures are shocking. Violence towards women is a serious offence of fundamental rights, and its distribution has long been acknowledged. The research reaffirms that Finland is one of the most violent countries for women in Europe,” says Milla Aaltonen, Head of Research at the Human Rights Centre.

The issue of violence towards women has recently been dominant in the Finnish media. Last week the CEDAW committee, which oversees the United Nations’ agreement on women’s rights, published its recommendations for Finland. Once again the committee highlighted the issue of violence towards women, in particular.

The CEDAW committee criticises the fact that Finland has not allocated adequate resources to put into action the national programme for reducing violence towards women. The Human Rights Centre demanded that the government appoints concrete measures and sufficient resources to remove violence against women.

“We also require additional information from authorities on the spread of forms of violence that have not yet been researched, such as violence related to questions of honour,” Aaltonen says. “Political decision-making must be based on researched information.”

Up to 42,000 women from 28 EU countries were interviewed for the study. The interviews covered extensively the different forms of violence experienced by women. Finnish interviewees amounted to some 1,500.

ANNIKA RAUTAKOURA – HT
Image: Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva

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