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Information and statistics on violence against women (VAW) are potentially available from a variety of sources. Two of the most common ‘groups’ of sources of quantitative data are: (1) administrative data, including, but not limited to records kept by health and social services, hotlines, shelters, legal aid services, courts and police; and (2) population-based surveys, a term that is used for surveys that collect data through rigorous methods in a subset of the population — a representative sample — to find out what is happening in the entire population.

As this leaflet sets out to show, administrative data, while having their utility as a source of information on violence against women, cannot provide an estimate of the prevalence of violence against women taking place within a population.

This publication is updated from an earlier version, originally published in 2016, and available in English, French and Spanish.