73% of NL women sexually harassed since age 15
In a survey, conducted by the European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights, titled: 'Violence against women: an EU-wide survey', 42,000 women across 28 member states of the EU were questioned about violence against women, especially gender-based violence. The results were shocking and can not be overlooked. The survey shows a systematically under-reported extensive abuse that affects many women's lives from age 15 and up.
Only 14 percent of women report their most serious incident of domestic violence, and only 13 percent report their most serious incident of non domestic abuse. Although men and boys can also fall victim to violence, both from men and women, this report shows that most violence against women is by men and to an overwhelming extent it concerns sexual violence and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can range from physical forms, such as hugging, kissing, touching, to verbal acts, such as sexually suggestive comments, and non-verbal forms, such a cyber harassment in the form of sexually explicit emails or text messages.
In the context of the study, sexual harassment can be considered anything that breaches the equal treatment between men and women. The Netherlands is in the top four, behind Sweden, Denmark, and France, with 73 percent of women over 15 sexually harassed, based on a set of 11 items asked. Based on a set of six items asked, the Netherlands even takes 3rd place with 66 percent, behind Sweden and Denmark, with France taking the 4th place. The survey results indicate that women between 18 and 29 are most vulnerable to sexual harassment in all the European countries.
It also appears that women with higher educational qualifications are more frequently harassed, but the survey is not conclusive. It may be that highly educated women are less tolerant of such forms of behavior from colleagues of supervisors.
Some 69 percent of women with a university degree report to have been subjected to sexual harassment, compared to 46 percent of women who only completed primary education. Meanwhile, 61 percent of women employed in the services sector deal with sexual harassment, compared to 31 percent of women in the agricultural sector and 44 percent of skilled women laborers, according to the EU average. In addition, women in mobile jobs run a higher risk in central and eastern EU states.