Victimization surveys

What: Victimization surveys help illustrate the dark figure of crime that is not reported to or recorded by the police or other authorities. Victimization surveys not only estimate the rates of persons who have been victims of crime, but also describe how the victim experienced it, along with the circumstances and consequences of the incident.

Why: Intimate partner violence and violence against women are examples of severely under-reported crimes. The true extent of these crimes and the impact that they have on society as a whole cannot be measured with official crime statistics. Furthermore, victimization surveys can describe the circumstances and consequences of incidents, which allows for more accurate international comparisons that are not limited by country-specific legal definitions of crime.

Methodology: Victimization surveys are based on representative random samples of the population by utilizing the most appropriate mode and sampling methods, depending on the resources and on the purposes of the survey.

HEUNI’s work has resulted in:

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) survey on violence against women in the EU. HEUNI provided expert advice and support for both the pilot and the final survey. HEUNI’s role was to develop the research tools (the questionnaire and fieldwork materials) and the interviewer training materials. HEUNI was also responsible for analysing the survey data and drafting the research report. Violence against women: an EU-wide survey. Main results report

The European Union Safety Survey (EU-SASU) is an example of an earlier attempt at a Europe-wide crime victims survey. The survey was conducted between 2009 and 2011. HEUNI was centrally involved in drafting the research design (including sampling, the questionnaire, interviewing methods and field arrangements). HEUNI was responsible for testing the survey pilot in Finland. HEUNI Report No. 71

Published 27.10.2017