One fourth of women in Iceland are survivors of rape or attempted rape, according to preliminary results of the SAGA Cohort, a nation-wide study on the impact of trauma on women’s health.
The same proportion of women are survivors of physical violence, Kjarninn reports.
The results are the first to be published from the study, which has had around 23,000 participants so far. This represents about one fifth of all women over 18 living in Iceland, who are the population for the study. Researchers are hoping for the participation of around 50,000 women in total.
Unnur Valdimarsdóttir and Anna Hauksdóttir, professors at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Iceland say they are happy with the high rate of participation in the study so far. They say the responses are spread fairly evenly across age groups, location, and education level, and therefore represent the female population quite well.
The researchers point to several possible explanations for the high proportion of women with a history of trauma. “It’s possible that women with a history of trauma are more likely to choose to participate in the study but on the other hand it must be kept in mind that in the aftermath of an open social debate on gender-based violence[…]in the #metoo movement, there will be a certain reassessment among women of their own experiences,” Unnur stated. “It is therefore also possible that this high proportion represents the actual incidence of these traumas among women in Iceland. Further data collection from more women and data analysis in the coming months will bring that to light.”