The first step in discussing any matter of social importance is to quantify it. This invites attack when applied to a topic as taboo as rape and sexual violence, but that is if anything all the more reason to do it.
International statistics on rape per 100,000 people are all but useless because – unlike, say, homicides – the definition of rape is so incredibly culturally mediated. I am sorry but it is implausible that even today’s Sweden Yes! has a rape rate 500 times that of Pakistan under any even minimally equivalent definition of the term. If you need to be explained why then you are a lost cause and are advised to stop reading now to avoid getting triggered.
To get something resembling reality we need to look at victimization surveys. To be fair, definitions of physical and sexual abuse presumably differ between countries where the husband has a legal right to physically discipline his wife (or wives) and countries where pressuring a non-working female spouse into following a budget has been criminalized as “coercive control.”
But things are now at least broadly comparable.
One 2005 WHO study surveyed physical and sexual violence rates against women in Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia, Thailand, and Tanzania during (a) the past 12 months and (b) ever. Of course as a WHO study they aren’t allowed to make any realistic conclusions – they tamely ascribed the comparatively very low rates of violence against women in Japan and Serbia to “different levels of economic development” (Serbia in particular being well known for its prosperity having been enriched by NATO bombs just 6 years earlier).
Only a very small (~2-3%?) percentage of Japanese and Serbia women reported being subjected to violence by their partners in the past year, although significantly more – ~15% in Japan, ~20% in Serbia – reported it for their entire lives (this despite Serbia being at war for most of the 1990s). In the African countries, 20%-50% of women reported being subjected to violence in the past year alone, and 40%-almost 70% during their lifetimes. Latin America and Thailand were generally in between Japan/Serbia and Africa.
It appears that there is a threshold level somewhere around the 25-30% mark of women reporting any experience of partner violence ever. Any lower, and the yearly risk of violence tends to be in the low single digits of a percentage; significantly higher, and it quickly ballons to 10%, 20%, or even more.
This is admittedly a small sample, but this was remedied by the latest WHO report in 2013 on Global and regional estimates of violence against women.
According to this report, about a third of women across the world have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner. The distribution was much as those of us who make a habit of noticing might have expected: Consistently high in Africa, the Middle East, and South and South-East Asia; much lower in East Asia and Europe; and the Americas in between.
They also had a more detailed breakdown by region and by the prevalence of (a) intimate partner violence and (b) non-partner sexual violence.
It is a mixed picture to be sure, but one pattern is clear: Rates of partner violence tend to be low in East Asia, Western Europe, and North America; middling in Central and East Europe, and in much of Latin America; and high in South Asia, Africa, and – yes – the Middle East. (Note also that 3 out of the 10 non-high income European countries included in the WHO figures for Europe are majority Islamic: Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkey. This might have inflated the Eastern European average by a bit. Without a more detailed national breakdown, it’s impossible to say.)
Although in terms of non-partner sexual violence the Middle East appears safe, this has a trivially simple explanation:
In short, there are reasons why women in the Middle East, South Asia, and apparently (if to a smaller extent) in Central America are segregated and kept out of the workforce. The rare stupid foreign woman who insists on making an exception is quickly schooled in local mores (just Google search “Tahrir” and “female journalist”).
That is because these societies – the ones European elites are importing en masse – have evolved their own set of solutions to the issues they have with violence against women.
Laugh at her as you will, but in a way the feminist/Green mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, is far more reasonable in her advice to women in an Islamizing country that they would do well to self-segregate themselves – keep men at an arm’s distance, stay in groups, avoid public gatherings – than her critics, the blank slate true believers, who imagine that a Pakistani youth plucked out of his village will automatically start behaving like a European when transposed to a German metropolis.