Violence against Women and Girls in Albania
More than half of Albanian women and girls aged 15-74 years old have experienced one or more of the five different types of violence (intimate partner violence, dating violence, non-partner violence, sexual harassment and/or stalking), during their lifetime, according to an INSTAT survey conducted in 2018. One third (37 %) has experienced violence the past 12 months (currently). The most common type of violence was dating violence; second most common was domestic violence by an intimate partner and third was sexual harassment.
Fig. 1 Experiences of violence against women and girls
Dating violence among women and girls who have never been married and/or never lived with a partner is commonly experienced.
Fig. 2 Experiences of dating violence against women and girls
About 66 % have ever experienced dating violence and almost just as many are currently experiencing it, about 62 %. Nearly all these women experiencing dating violence have experienced coercive controlling behavior (e.g. that a partner is getting jealous or angry if she talks to other men, restricting her from meeting friends or checking all the time where she is). About half of them have experienced psychological violence (e.g. insults or humiliations). Those who have or currently are experiencing dating violence are divided between ages 18-24 (about 46 %) and age 25-34 (about 46 %). However, the age of the perpetrators were mainly between age 25-34 (about 89 %).
Intimate partner domestic violence
There were 47 % of the women who had ‘ever’ and about 34 % who had ‘currently’ experienced one or more of the five different types of intimate partner domestic violence.
Tab. 1 Experience of intimate partner domestic violence
About 34 % of all women and girls have experienced one or more types of domestic violence from an intimate partner in the past 12 months. Almost half have ever experienced it. For about 40 percent of the women, the domestic violence began already during the first year of marriage.
Fig. 3 Experience of most common types of current intimate partner domestic violence
The most common type of domestic violence is controlling behavior where a husband or partner gets jealous or angry if the woman talks to other men. About 41 percent of the women have ever experienced it, and about 25 percent currently do. Some women are also restricted by their intimate partners or forbidden to meet with their friends (about 17 % ever, 11 % current) and being controlled by husbands/partners wanting to know where they are at all times (about 17 % ever, 13 % current).
The second most common type of domestic violence is psychological violence. About 31 percent of the women have ever experienced it and about 20 percent currently do. The most common forms are those where women experienced that their husband or partner insulted them and made them feel bad about themselves (about 25 % ever, 14 % current) and being spoken to in a way that made them feel stupid and worthless (about 19 % ever, 10 % current).
The third most common type of domestic violence is physical violence. 18 % of women aged 18-74 have ever experienced it and about 7% are currently experience one or more of the 11 different types of physical violence in their marriage or intimate relationships. Women were most likely to be slapped by their partners, but some women also experienced being pulled by the hair, or having thrown something at them that could hurt them. A few women also experience more severe violence like husbands kicking, beating or hitting them with fists or something else that could hurt them.
Also, there were 9 % of the women that in their lifetime experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner and about 4 % experience sexual violence currently.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Fig. 4 Relationship between age and sexual harassment
About 18 % of women in the age 18-74 have ever experienced it, and about 9 % are currently experiencing it. Women aged 18-44 years are more likely to have experienced sexual harassment (ever), compared to women 45 and over. The same phenomenon is shown in experiencing sexual harassment in the 12 months prior to the survey (currently).
The most common types of sexual harassment are comments about a woman’s body and/or physical appearance that made her feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or offended (about 12 % ever, 5 % current), and intrusive questions about her sexual, intimate or private life that made her feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or offended (about 6 % ever, 3 % current).
Most incidents of sexual harassment occurs on roads/streets (about 83 %), followed by schools (about 42 %), markets/shops (about 38 %), in a woman’s home (about 29 %) and in the workplace (about 26 %). Other places, but less common are inside cars, buses and other means of transport, bars, restaurants and/or discos/clubs, someone else’s home, fields or natural areas, and by the waters.
Strangers (about 79 %) and friends/ acquaintances (about 51 %) committed most incidents of sexual harassment, followed by neighbors (about 33 %) and classmates/schoolmates (about 33%). More than one option could be ticked by the respondent in the survey.
Social norms in Albania on domestic violence
Social norms in a society may contribute or prevent prevalence of intimate partner domestic violence. About half of the women in the survey say that most people in the community believe that violence between a husband and a wife is private matter and that other should not intervene. Also, almost half of the women in the survey say that most people in the community believe that a woman is partly to blame if her husband beats her. She should also be ashamed or embarrassed to talk to anyone outside of her family about the domestic violence. These social norms may keep women in an abusive relationship and not report crimes to the police.