The Belgian National Action plan 2004-2007 for fighting domestic violence intends compiling statistical research on the prevalence of domestic violence. In addition to compiling criminal statistics, data from the medical sector and counselling services will also be collected. At the beginning of the Belgian National Action Plan (Plan d’Action National) in 2004, for the first half year of 2004, the Belgian "Police criminelle" (criminal investigation police) recorded 4,861 cases of intentional bodily harm between partners in
In 1998 Prof. Bruynooghe of the
In 2004 Prof. Müller and Dr. Schröttle from the University of Bielefeld, Germany compiled a representative study about violent experiences of women (Lebenssituation, Sicherheit und Gesundheit von Frauen in Deutschland). More than 10,000 women aged between 16 and 85 years were interviewed in 2003. They found that 37% of women have experienced physical violence, 13% sexual violence according to penal law, 58% sexual harassment and 42% psychological violence. Further, 23% of women stated having experienced physical violence in their partnership, 7% sexual violence and 25% physical or sexual violence. This data shows that every 2nd-3rd woman experiences physical violence in her adult life and every 7th sexual violence. Moreover, every 4th women aged between 16 and 58 experiences physical or sexual violence in her partnership. About 33% of those incidences can be described as battering relationships, meaning violence takes place repeatedly over a long period of time.
An analysis of 10 separate domestic violence prevalence studies in
The Council of Europe has published a stocktaking study on domestic violence in opposite-sex couples. The extent of domestic violence has been studied within national health care systems and about 16 national studies have been commissioned to estimate the extent of domestic violence. Even its prevalence varies depending on the research methods, it can be stated that about one fifth to one quarter of women have experienced physical violence at least once in their adult life. Including all forms of violence, raises the percentage to 45%.
The preponderant majority of perpetrators of domestic violence are male, whereas the majority of the victims are female. Research which assumes that women’s share in domestic violence is much higher (Fiebert 1997, Archer 2000), has already been rebutted (Kimmel 2002). Moreover Kimmel assumes that “Fibert’s scholarly annotated bibliography thus turns out to be far more of an ideological polemic than a serious scholarly undertaking”. The fact that most perpetrators are male leads to the assumption that domestic violence is gender biased.