One in two women over – 18 years of age – in the Czech Republic has experienced some form of sexual violence or harassment in her lifetime. Almost one in ten women has been raped during her lifetime (9.2 %). This amounts to around 409,000 women in the Czech Republic, according to new representative research conducted by the research agency MindBridge Consulting, for the non-governmental organization proFem – Center for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Quantitative data collection was conducted during August 2021 using the CAWI method (web-based interviewing) with a sample size of 1,000 respondents (a representative sample of the Czech population over 18 years of age). The aim of the survey was to find out what types of sexual harassment and/or violence women and men in the Czech Republic experience and how they deal with these situations. Sexual violence and harassment included rape, groping, verbal sexual harassment, being forced to engage in unpleasant sexual practices, receiving unsolicited photographs or videos with sexualized content, and others.

Main research results

  • 54% of the women had experienced at least one form of sexual violence and/or harassment.
  • One in three women had experienced more than one form of sexual violence and/or harassment in her lifetime.
  • Almost one in ten women had been raped during her lifetime (9.2%). This amounts to 409,172 women in the Czech Republic.
  • Verbal sexual harassment and groping, fondling, touching against the victim’s will are the most common forms of sexual harassment/violence. First has been experienced by 33% of women, second by 31% of women.
  • 17% of women have experienced receiving unsolicited videos or photos with sexualized content, and 12% of women have experienced unsolicited kissing or kissing against their will.
  • Men are most likely to experience verbal sexual harassment, groping, fondling, touching against their will, and receiving unsolicited videos or photos with sexualized content. Compared to women, a significantly lower number of men experience sexual violence/harassment, and men also experience fewer forms of violence/harassment on average.

Centre for victims of sexual violence

These results strongly contrast with the help which is available for the victims. There is no specialised and comprehensive centre for these victims in the Czech Republic. Such centres are common abroad.. Thus, the Czech Republic does not meet the minimum standards and recommendations of the Council of Europe in the area of assistance to victims of gender-based violence.

ProFem – aims at changing this situation and establish a unique Centre for Victims of Sexual Violence (and victims of domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence with a sexual aspect), where they will have access to a comprehensive set of specialised services to ensure adequate assistance and support. Victims will find social services there, including crisis assistance, legal counselling, psychotherapy, criminal justice support and basic medical treatment. This timely and quality assistance to victims of sexual violence will contribute to the mitigation of the negative impact of the violence experienced and the stigmatisation of victims, furthermore, it will help to exercise victims’ rights and empowerment, and consequently, it will contribute to the improvement of their quality of life. The launch of the Centre is planned for January 2023. More information including the ways how to support the centre, is accessible on proFem’s website.