Blue-collar workers service workers and shop and market sales workers; skilled agricultural and fishery workers; craft and related trade workers; plant and machine operators and assemblers; elementary occupations; armed forces.

Dependent child — a household member aged 0–17 (as at 1 January of the reference year) or a household member aged 18–24 who is living with at least one parent and who is economically inactive by main social status.

Emotional sufferings — the victim being shaken up, having sleep disorders or troubles in concentrating, a stoop in self-esteem or depression after an occurrence of physical abuse in an intimate relationship.

Household with non-working members — there are no working members in the household.

Inducing fear — threatening or frightening and/or making the victim feel afraid to go home later than agreed because the partner may behave aggressively, berate them or do other similar things.

Intimate relationship experience — a person who is or has been married, in a common law union, or has/ has had an intimate relationship with a person he/she is/ has not been living with. An intimate relationship is a relationship with a sexual undertone that need not involve sexual intercourse.

Intimate partner abuse — mental, physical or sexual abuse against one’s intimate partner by a current or previous partner.

Mental intimate partner abuse — mental abuse directed against an intimate partner includes intimidation, threatening, hampering social communication and threats of physical abuse by the current or previous intimate partner with the goal of controlling the partner’s activities.

Obstructing communication — forbidding meeting or calling to friends or relatives, engaging in one’s hobbies, engaging in other means of spending one’s leisure time or forbidding some other activities.

Physical intimate partner abuse — physical abuse directed against an intimate partner includes hitting, beating, strangling, attacking with a weapon or inflicting pain or injury in any other way by a current or previous partner.

Rural settlement — small town or village.

Sexual intimate partner abuse — physical abuse directed against an intimate partner includes coercing a partner into sexual intercourse by means of physical strength or threats by a current or previous partner.

Threatening with physical abuse — threatening to physically hurt the intimate partner or their loved one(s).

Urban settlement — city, city without municipal status, or town.

White-collar workers legislators, senior officials and managers; professionals; technicians and associate professionals; clerks.


At the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, Statistics Estonia conducted the Safety Survey, with a goal of collecting data about the actual extent of crime in the country, sense of security of the Estonian population and abuse in intimate relationships. Provisionally, the survey was comprised of two parts: the first part was concerned with falling victim to crime and personal sense of security, the second part focused on studying intimate partner abuse.

All permanent residents of Estonia between the ages of 15 and 74 comprised the population of the survey. Data on intimate partner abuse were collected only from respondents with an intimate relationship experience: either they were in an intimate relationship during the conduct of the survey or had been in an intimate relationship earlier. The first part of the survey was conducted by using face-to-face interviews. Information about intimate partner abuse was collected by using the self-completed questionnaire. A face-to-face interview was carried out only if the respondent asked for it. The conduct of the survey followed the principle that neither the interviewer nor the interviewee should come to harm as a result of participation in the survey. In order to ensure security, interviews were, whenever possible, conducted in private, the theme of intimate partner abuse was not introduced in the contact letter sent to the prospective respondent’s home nor in information materials used by Statistics Estonia.

The respondents were given information booklets in Estonian and/or Russian for themselves or to pass on, in which victims of intimate partner abuse were encouraged to seek help, and which were equipped with the contact details of appropriate help organisations, shelters, support groups, etc. The information booklet was given to all respondents, irrespective of their answers.

The questions concerning the abuse in the survey are similar to the Conflict Tactics Scale created by Murray Strauss, the use of which often results in equal frequencies of falling victim to intimate partner abuse for men and women. The reason for this is that the questions do not consider the causes and consequences of abuse. The violence directed at men by women is often self-defence and its consequences are also milder, that is why men and women’s experiences with abuse are different in terms of quality. For this reason, the aim of the current Safety Survey is not to compare the abuse against men with that against women in intimate relationships, and the estimates on men and women are presented in separate tables.


Educational levels according to ISCED 97 codes

Below upper secondary education — 0-2

less than primary education  — 0, primary education — 1

basic education  — 2A

vocational education for youngsters without basic education — 2C

Upper secondary education — 3

general secondary education — 3A

vocational secondary education based on basic education 3B

professional secondary education based on basic education — 3A

vocational training based on basic education — 3C

Post-secondary non-tertiary education — 4

vocational secondary education based on secondary education — 4B

Tertiary education — 5-6

academic higher education (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree) — 5A

professional higher education (professional higher education, diploma study, vocational higher education) — 5B

professional secondary education based on secondary education  5B

Doctoral level degree — 6


Turvalisuse uuring. Metoodika raport. Safety Survey. Methodology Report


Maali Käbin

Population and social statistics department

Tel +372 625 9315

Last updated: 23.10.2019