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Prevalence estimates play a role in academic and policy analyses of violence against women. The debate on available figures and what they measure has tended toward overgeneralization with too little consideration of differences that might emerge from cross-national or cross-cultural comparison. The present review introduces 11 prevalence studies carried out between 1986 and 1997 in nine European countries, their research goals and methodology, and some salient figures. With a growing understanding of the need for sensitive research and clear definitions, there is regrettable lack of interchange within Europe, impeding comparative analysis. Issues for future research are discussed.