Statistics Estonia is conducting the most extensive relationship survey in Estonia
Today, Statistics Estonia is launching the largest and most comprehensive relationship survey in Estonia so far, titled “Safe relationships within family, at work and outside work”. The purpose of the survey is to get an overview of well-being and safety in relationships. An invitation to participate in the survey is sent by post to over 16,000 people.
According to Urmet Lee, Director General of Statistics Estonia, there is currently no comprehensive overview in Estonia on how safe are relationships within family, at work and in other places and to what level are mental and physical abuse experienced. “In order to see the full picture, we will collect information about people’s experiences, fully protecting the privacy of the respondents, and conduct an in-depth analysis, which will be used to improve violence prevention and support services in the state. The survey results serve as a basis for improving the well-being of each individual and the society as a whole.”
The purpose of the extensive relationship survey is to collect information about mental and physical harassment, stalking and hidden violence in relationships at home but also at work, school and elsewhere. The survey also sheds light on the practices of seeking help and the related shortcomings. To better understand relationship patterns, experiences of abuse involving current and previous partners and in childhood are studied.
“The survey results will help to determine where and in which form Estonian people most often encounter abuse and how it differs by region. We will identify the main vulnerable groups, the risk and protective factors associated with violence and the trajectories that lead to needing assistance. Among other things, our goal is to assess the development of the Estonian society in terms of human rights and the socio-political environment and how we compare with other European countries,” explained Lee. He added that the same survey is carried out also in other European Union countries.
Violence is experienced in different ways and in different places
According to Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo, violence does not occur only behind closed doors at home, but it can be encountered also at school and work. “Violence could be emotional, physical, sexual and financial and it is not always easy to identify,” said Riisalo.
She added that so far primarily physical violence and harassment have been mapped. For example, 20% of males and 16% of females living in Estonia have experienced physical violence in the last five years. While men fell victim to physical violence more often in the public space (2%), for example, on the street, in parks and other public places, women experienced it most often at home (64%). “Physical violence is the most visible form of abuse, but it is important to map and be able to notice the other forms, too, and offer the best possible help to all those in need, including the persons who have been violent. This is what we are trying to accomplish with the survey results,” added Riisalo.
All persons included in the survey sample are welcome to participate
The participants of the survey, which starts today, have been selected from the population register from among 18–74-year-old Estonian residents by random sampling. In order to extrapolate the survey results to the total population, approximately 16,700 persons are interviewed. An invitation to participate in the relationship survey is sent by e-mail to the e-mail address or on paper to the home address marked in the population register as the main contact. The survey can be completed either online by filling in a questionnaire or as a face-to-face interview.
“It is very important that all persons included in the sample participate in the survey. Only then can the state have the best possible knowledge for making decisions about violence prevention and offering help and improve the opportunities for prevention and assistance,” stressed Director General Urmet Lee.
The relationship survey is kept extremely confidential. The collected data are processed and used only in aggregated form and are not linked in any way to the respondents. Statistics Estonia will publish a summary of the survey results in the first half of 2023. Additional information on the survey can be found on the website of Statistics Estonia or by contacting customer support by e‑mail klienditugi [at] stat.ee or phone +372 625 9300.
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