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Population size: 

17.1 million [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

In 2017, the Dutch Statistics Agency (CBS), reported that 1.7% of women aged 15 or older reported being the victim of one or more forms of domestic abuse. For men, the number was 2.5% [2]

25% of ever-partnered women aged 18-74 experienced intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. 5% of ever-partnered women aged 18-74 experienced intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the last 12 months. 12 % of ever-partnered women aged 18-74 experienced sexual violence perpetrated by someone other than an intimate partner at least once in their lifetime.(Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014. Violence against Women: An EU-wide Survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.) [3]

45% of the Dutch population have been victims of any form of physical and sexual violence in the home (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) 2014. [4]

200,000 victims of serious domestic violence every year. Over 63,000 cases are reported to the police every year. Every year, around 13,000 victims in the Netherlands use women's shelters. (Source: Blijf Groep, NGO that supports victims of domestic violence) [5]

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

Kindertelefoon, a Dutch non-profit organisation helping children (anonymously) to deal with various problems, reported a 50 percent surge in calls most of them related to domestic and sexual abuse and violence in the 2 weeks after the Netherlands entered into a semi-lockdown in mid-March. [6]

Current law and policy

The Netherlands commits to ratifying and implementing the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women.

The Netherlands has signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence and is committed to ratifying and implementing it in the course of this year. We have set up a comprehensive approach aimed at preventing, detecting, stopping and following up on all types of violence in dependent relationships and all domestic violence. This is a multifaceted approach involving individuals, professionals, agencies and civil society organisations. One element is a national awareness-raising campaign to stop domestic violence. We have also recently introduced the ‘WE CAN Young’ campaign to promote sexual resilience and healthy sexual behaviour among young people in 15 municipalities, based on the international ‘WE CAN end all violence against women’ campaign. This campaign encourages young ‘change makers’ to bring about changes in attitudes to gender inequality and stereotypes.

The Netherlands is also committed to taking effective action to stop human trafficking. Forced prostitution is one of the worst forms of violence against women. The Dutch government has sent a bill to parliament that would increase the maximum sentence for human trafficking from 8 to 12 years (sentences for cases involving aggravating circumstances would be increased accordingly). Parliament is expected to approve the bill in the near future.

Internationally, we are committed to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 through our second National Action Plan, which focuses on enhancing the role of women as powerful agents for peace and security in the MENA region and six other countries (Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, Sudan, South Sudan and the DRC). Another example of our commitment is the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) programme, a four-year grant scheme launched in 2012 to provide support for non-governmental organisations worldwide that focus on women’s rights and countering violence against women. Also, the Netherlands draws attention to violence against women through a biennial resolution in the UN General Assembly on this issue.

Public spending - From 2021, the current Cabinet has said it will also push an additional 59.1 million euros into programs aimed at tackling domestic violence and child abuse. Over 38.5 million euros is intended for Veilig Thuis, a 24/7 call centre which takes reported cases of domestic violence and child abuse from victims, bystanders, professionals and even offenders. Another 15.5 million euros will be available to establish more physical locations to shelter women who are escaping from an abusive situation. [7]

Joint UN Program “Strengthening National Capacities to Prevent Domestic Violence” December 2008- August 2012. $ 2,458,000 funded by the Government of the Netherlands.[8]

Frontline Services:



[1] The World Bank, (1).

[3] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Netherlands”, (

[8] Tozija F, Jordanova Peshevska D. Translating knowledge into violence prevention policy towards the sustainable development goals in the republic of Macedonia. EURODIALOGUE J Eur Affairs. (2016) 22:261–282



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