|International Violence Against Women Survey IVAWS||Graphical version|
The International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS) is an international, comparative survey specifically designed to target men's violence against women, especially domestic violence and sexual assault. The objective of the IVAWS project is to assess the level of victimisation of women in a number of countries world-wide, on a repeatable basis, and to provide novel inputs for the development of specific criminal justice approaches.
The IVAWS project relies largely on the network, infrastructure and methodology of the International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) that has been successfully implemented in more than 70 countries around the world. The IVAWS also utilizes the specific expertise of Statistics Canada in developing sensitive survey tools for measuring violence against women. The first national, targeted survey on violence against women was conducted by Statistics Canada in 1993 .
The IVAWS project is co-ordinated by HEUNI with inputs from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), UNICRI and Statistics Canada.
The countries participating in the project include Australia, China (Hong Kong), Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Mozambique, Poland, Philippines and Switzerland, with other interested countries still waiting to secure funding for the survey. The data collection phase, started in some countries in 2003, will be completed during first half of 2005. All the countries are participating on self-funded basis. Simultaneously national and international funding for the project is being sought to secure participation of more developing countries and countries in transition.
The first operational version of the survey instrument was drafted in 2001, incorporating the inputs received at expert meeting of interested country representatives in Vancouver. During 2001-2002, IVAWS pilot studies were carried out in some 15 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Spain (Basque region), Serbia, and Ukraine).
The second expert meeting of the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS) was held at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in Turin, Italy, from 3 to 5 October, 2002. The meeting was funded by the Open Society Institute and attended by experts from 12 countries, plus representatives from the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the Council of Europe, the Organization of American States, and the Open Society Institute.
The meeting revised and discussed the IVAWS questionnaire based on the experiences from the pilot studies. After the meeting the questionnaire underwent an additional pilot study in Australia. After this testing, the questionnaire was amended and was finalised together with the IVAWS Manual. The instruments are now available for use in full-fledged surveys.
The project activities in each participating country included, besides the full-fledged survey and data collection, also preparation of both national and comparative IVAWS reports, as well as seminars/workshops on violence against women.
The international project team, composed of representatives of HEUNI, UNODC and Statistics Canada is responsible for the overall coordination of the project, including supporting the national coordinators in carrying out the surveys in their own countries. Further, the international project team collects the data sets from each participating country and compiles them into a joint IVAWS database.
The IVAWS project has so far covered some 30 countries from all continents. The first comparative research report of the IVAWS data in eleven countries was published jointly by Springer and HEUNI in early 2008. Here are some of the key findings:
The project documents (questionnaire and methodology manual) are available for use in countries interested in conducting a similar survey.