Number of domestic violence victims down, reported cases up
The number of domestic violence victims has recently declined in Estonia, a report published by the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday showed. The number of people killed in incidences of domestic violence decreased from 17 in 2011 to five in 2015.
Statistics also indicate that the number of cases of marital violence that resulted in severe consequences has decreased to 35 in 2015, down from 47 registered in 2011.
Over the past eight years, Estonia has made significant progress in preventing and solving cases of marital violence, according to the Interior Ministry's Security Policy 2008-2015 report. The ministry has organized numerous campaigns, spread information, and conducted seminars and training with the aim of raising awareness of this issue.
As a result, reporting of domestic violence has doubled, with more people turning to the police. They used to be notified of less than 20 cases a day in 2011, whereas the number of average daily reports in 2014 was 35, and 43 in 2015, the report said.
Attitudes condoning domestic violence are still common, however. Gender inequality monitoring revealed last year that 10% of Estonians think it fine to discipline a partner physically, and 20% of adults consider domestic violence a family issue.
Major modifications were made in terms of basic principles, as the police now records and investigates each case of marital violence, and in the more serious cases initiates criminal proceedings, makes home visits, and notifies social services or victim support.
The police are currently keeping an eye on over 18,000 cases, including 2,300 minors and 6,640 problematic households, the report said, adding that almost one fifth of the Estonian population had experienced or witnessed some sort of domestic violence.