Violence in close relationships
Violence in close relationships is more common than you’d think. Are you female, male, an adolescent or a child and restricted in your life or are you in other ways feeling used or humiliated by kindred? It could be your partner, your parent, your child, a relative etc. There’s help for you!
A relationship must be based on mutual respect. No one should have to tolerate abuse, physical or psychological. Children who witness violence in the family are mistreated and suffer.
Research shows that mainly women are the victims of physical violence, and that most women do not report to the police with the intention to punish their men. They report it so that the man will stop hitting, so that he understands that he has done wrong, but also for him to get help.
Both the one who is the victim of violence, and the one who perpetrates violence have the right and the possibility to receive help, irrespective of gender, background, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, addiction problems or disability. It is never too late to break negative patterns.
This writing provides you with information about how to proceed if you meet a person who has experienced or is experiencing violence in a close relationship or if you feel that you are in need of help.
What is violence in a close relationship?
Violence in close relationships includes every kind of relationship between relatives, like heterosexual couples, homosexual couples, sibling relations, parent- and child relations and other family relations.
Violence is every action that results in physical, sexual or mental injury or suffering, restraint or threats of such deeds.
All kinds of physical action that injures and causes physical pain.
Aggrieving with words and actions, direct threat of physical violence and violent consequences, indirect threat of for example suicide or threat directed to another relative, a pet or property. Limitation of the freedom of movement is also psychological violence.
When someone is forced to take part in or witness sexual actions against his or her will.
Aggression that is directed to and destroys material artefacts both in and outside the home, that creates anxiety and fear. Limitations of financial space, for example to not be allowed to have your one money are also material violence.
Intense anger and aggression that is suppressed and shows in body posture and expression, and that give rise to fear.
Violence and oppression related to honor
- Threat of- or marriage against your will
- Restraint to deny your sexuality/ sexual orientation
- Do you feel that you cannot live by your own thoughts, feelings and opinions, and that they conflict with the ones of your family?
The police’s task is to help, prevent and avert crime, but also to investigate committed crimes. On many police stations there are coordinators for crime victims, and they work with support and protection for crime victims. There are two such coordinators in the police area Central Skåne, that Höör belongs to.
Violence is a crime, and punishable wherever it may take place in society. If you are a victim of crime like molestation, threat and different kinds of violent and sexual crimes, you should make a police report. You don’t have to file the report yourself for the police to start an investigation.
It is possible to file a police report even if the situation is not urgent. You are not obligated to report a crime, but a report is necessary to get compensated and helped by insurance companies or the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority (Brottsoffermyndigheten).
Most police stations i the country have staff that are especially trained for cases that concern crimes in close relationships. Special crime investigators within the police investigate sexual crime. They often have extensive experience in investigating such crimes.
If you are hurt, you should get your injuries documented (preferably photographed) by a doctor. The police can provide you with more information. If you receive any threats on your answering machine, by mail or SMS, you should save them. That could be important mass of evidence.
Interrogation and documentation
The police perform a first interrogation at the scene and they document any bodily damages or material damages, on film. The person who has been subjected has, with some exceptions, the right to decide whether his or her injuries should be documented or not. Forensic technicians could also be called to the scene in order to secure evidence of various kinds.
When the police become aware of a crime of violence the suspect could be called for, or brought in for, interrogation. He/she can also be apprehended and by a decision made by a prosecutor get a warrant of arrest. To grant a warrant of arrest, there have to be reasons to believe that the perpetrator will continue to exercise violence, is obstructing the investigation by for example influence witnesses or shunning from interrogations and trial.
A suspect can be held arrested for three days. After that the prosecutor should determine whether the person should be prosecuted and detained or if the person should be discharged.
If there is a person suspected on good grounds for the crime a preliminary investigation is initiated. These cases are always led by a prosecutor. Depending on what the preliminary investigation shows, the prosecutor decides whether the suspect should be prosecuted or not.
If a woman is a victim of crime repeatedly over time and is filing reports to the police about the incidents, a prosecutor can start a prosecution for Grave Violation of a Woman’s Integrity, even if all the particular cases as such not are warrant for prosecution.
Grave Violation of a Woman’s Integrity (Grov kvinnofridskränkning)
Grave Violation of a Woman’s Integrity means that a woman is subjected to repeated abuse by a man with whom she is or has been married to, or has been or is living with under marital like circumstances. The deeds should also be part of a repeated aggrieve of the woman’s integrity and each one be dedicated to seriously damage her self-esteem.
The prosecutor estimates whether a suspect should be detained. Then the court makes the actual decision. If the suspect does get detained, the crime should immediately be investigated by the police. Normally, that takes two weeks. During that time the suspect, the crime victim and if any, the witnesses are interrogated. If the court can’t find sufficient reasons for detaining, the suspect is released. If so, the police will notify you.
Gathering of information
The police gather material of various kinds, for example judicial certificates from doctors, forensic reports and analyses, documentation of injuries and medical records from prior hospitalizations if there are any.
The investigator must interrogate you as so called injured party, the suspect and the witnesses, if any. You can bring someone you trust to support you at the interrogation if you want to.
Diary entries, telephone messages and SMS between the litigants, that the victim (the injured party) has, can be important information. It may also be necessary to gather information from among others, the school, the Social Service Department and others who might have information that is important for the case.
Threat- and risk assessment
If the suspected perpetrator is released from arrest or detention, for example due to a lack of evidence, the police, the prosecutor or the Correctional System should inform the victim.
The police should make a threat- and risk assessment to see which forms of protection the victim needs, for example contact with Women’s Aid (Kvinnojour)/ Crime Victim Support (Brottsofferjour), protected accommodation or an assault alarm.
When a report is filed to the police about sexual abuse, the police follow the victim to a gynaecologist bringing a so called Rape-kit. This contains material for collection of DNA evidence. This examination should preferably take place within 72 hours after the abuse.
Restraining order/ Injunction against contact
The prosecutor can of his/her own accord or upon request pronounce an ”Injunction against contact”(=“generellt kontaktförbud”). This is a ban against seeing the one that is to be protected, but also a ban against contacting that person by mail, letter or telephone. If someone infringes a restraining order/ injunction against contact he/she can be apprehended and risks being sentenced to imprisonment for maximum one year. If a restraining order/ injunction against contact is issued it is of great importance that you as the victim of crime don’t yourself contact or meet the perpetrator, since the restraining order/ injunction against contact then is withdrawn and you lose the protection.
Protection package for threatened
If you are under threat, you should be provided with the same security, regardless where in the country you live. Therefore, the Swedish National Police Board (=Rikspolisstyrelsen) has developed a standardized protection package. The technical protection consists of an emergency telephone with GPS feature, recording device and an acoustic alarm. Recently is also that supporting measures is included in the protection package. If you are under threat, you could for example get a contact person within the police and opportunity for dialogue about information and security.
What type of protection a person under threat receives, is based on a structured threat- and risk assessment. According to the protected person’s needs and conditions the content of the protection package is customized. Before the person that is to be protected starts using the equipment, they get information about how to use it, and if there is anything in particular to think of when using it.
- In case of emergency or ongoing crimes, call 112
- In all contact with police to report a crime or other information, call 114 14
- Coordinator for crime victims at the Police in Central Skåne: 114 14
You can also go to the nearest police station to file a report.
At the police’s website you can find more information for victims of crime in close relationships
The Social Services
According to chapter 5 section 11 in the Social Services Act (=Socialtjänstlagen) the Social Service committee (=Socialnämnden) should work to ensure that the victims of crime and their relatives get support and help. The Social Service committee should in particular remark that women that is or have been victim of violence or abuse in a close relationship can be in need of help and support to change their situation. The Social Service committee should also in particular remark that children who witnessed violence or other abuse could be in need of help and support.
The goal of the Social Services is to give a good and professional treatment to the victims of violence, both perpetrated violence and for children in a family where violence occur.
The Individual- and Family care in the municipality of Höör is divided into different units, and there are social workers specifically engaged in economic support, addiction problems, children and adolescents, family law etc.
At the department for individual and family care you will have the possibility to meet with a social worker for advice and support concerning the circumstances of your life. They can be a support in overlooking and structuring the practical situation of life and help you with the contact with the police and other authorities. When needed, you will get help to protected accommodation.
The unit for Family Law (=Familjerätten) can offer you organized dialogue if you and your child’s other parent find it difficult to agree on issues regarding the children.
You could be in need of economical help if you have had financial difficulties. You have the right to apply for economical support (=försörjningsstöd) and your application is considered individually based on your situation.
The municipality of Höör is a part of, in collaboration with six other municipalities, the Crisis Centre Central Skåne (=Kriscentrum Mellersta Skåne) stationed in Lund. The Crisis Centre is a reception for dialogue that addresses to:
- Adult victims of violence by a relative
- Adults using violence against a relative
- Children and adolescents who have witnessed and experienced violence in close relationships.
- Adults living or have lived in a destructive relationship.
The Crisis Centre offers:
- Crisis processing
- Dialogue/treatment, individually or in a group
All treatment is free of charge. You can remain anonymous and will not be registered.
Crisis Centre in Central Skåne (=Kriscentrum Mellersta Skåne) 046-35 50 71
If you live in Höör, you can turn to Crisis Centre in Central Skåne, a receiving for dialogue that addresses to adult victim of violence by relatives, adults using violence against a relative, children and adolescent who have witnessed and experienced violence in a close relationship and adults living or have lived in a destructive relationship. The Crisis Centre offers counselling, crisis processing and dialogue/ treatment individually or in group. You can remain anonymous and will not be registered. All treatment is free of charge.
Visiting address: Ringvägen 1 B, Lund
Web page with information in English:
Family counselling in Lund (Familjerådgivningen i Lund) 046-35 69 68
If you live in Höör municipality, you can turn to the Family counselling in Lund if you have problems in the relationship with your partner, no matter if it concerns living together or separating. It can also concern the relation with other family members or relatives.
At the family counselling they work under professional secrecy and are not keeping records. The contact with the family counselling is entirely voluntarily and you can remain anonymous if you want to
The counselling costs 200 SEK per person and visiting occasion.
Visiting address: Gasverksgatan 1 Lund
Women’s aid in Lund (Kvinnojouren i Lund) 046-12 19 60
You can turn to the Women’s aid if you, or someone near you, are a victim of psychological and/ or physical violence, threat of violence or other aggrieving treatment. The Women’s aid offers advice, support and protected accommodation.
The Women’s aid in Lund has lots of experience from working with women who are or have been victims of violence.
The goal with the work at Women’s aid in Lund, is to help, protect and support abused and threatened women and their children. The women you meet at Women’s aid in Lund all have a duty of confidentiality, and are not allowed to talk about you or your family with someone outside the organization. You can remain anonymous.
The Women’s aid in Lund is a part of The Swedish Association of Women’s Shelters and Young Women’s Empowerment Centers (=Sveriges Kvinnojourers riksförbund, SKR).
Crime victim support (Brottsofferjouren) 046-32 32 98
Crime victim support Central Skåne is a politically and religiously independent non-profit organization that offers support and help to you as a victim of crime.
You can get practical information about the trial and support in connection with it, help in the contact with authorities or advice and support through dialogue.
The Crime Victim Support Centre is situated in Lund, but the work is conducted all over central Skåne; Eslöv, Höör, Hörby, Kävlinge, Lomma, Lund and Staffanstorp.
If you want to contact the victim support, it is easiest during their telephone hours Monday to Friday 09.00- 12.00. You can also e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or want to know more about how you can get help and support.
If you have been exposed to violence, you are entitled to a complete examination of both physical and mental injuries. The examination is conducted in such a way so that it can be used as a judicial certificate if needed (for example if you want to file a report to the police).
The Health Care Centre can, beside medical examinations, also provide crisis support, information about possible help options and psychosocial treatment from counsellor or psychologist.
You can also contact the emergency room at nearest hospital.
On weekends there is the weekend reception in Eslöv. On night-time, contact the emergency room.
If it concerns sexual abuse, contact the women’s clinic (kvinnokliniken) in Lund. You should also file a report to the police, since they need proof such as DNA
Adolescents can at daytime contact the Social Advice and Guidance Centre for Young People (Ungdomsmottagningen) in Eslöv.
If you are worried about the health of a child, you can contact the Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry (Barn- och Ungdomspsykiatrin, BUP) in Eslöv.
Emergency room, Lund, Klinikgatan 15 046-17 10 00
Emergency psychiatry, Lund, S:t Larsområdet 046-17 41 00
Child-& Adolescent Psychiatry, BUP, Eslöv, Odengatan 66 0413-556030
Ungdomsmottagningen, Eslöv, Östergatan 8 0771-12 02 02
Weekend reception, Eslöv, Solvägen 33, Sat-Sun 10-17 0413-35 12 52
Women’s clinic, Lund 046-17 25 15
You can also turn to
Church of Sweden (=Svenska kyrkan)
The Church of Sweden listens.
We are not an authority.
Höör parish, Christina Lenander, deacon 0739- 94 63 43
Ringsjö parish, Anneli Elmelid, priest 0413-54 47 80
Kamratföreningen Länken, Höör 0762-60 06 13
Kamratföreningen Länken is an association for people with alcohol problems or minor mixed abuse, and also their relatives. If you share the ideals of the association, you can be a supporting member.
The meetings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 18.00-20.00.
The venue is located at Kungshällan.
You can reach Kamratföreningen Länken all days of the week by phone, 0413-203 76.
Telephone helpline for women (Kvinnofridslinjen) 020-50 50 50
Kvinnofridslinjen is a national telephone helpline for women subjected to threats, violence or sexual abuse. Relatives and friends to these are also welcome to call the helpline.
The helpline is open around the clock and the call is free of charge, no matter where you live. Your call here will not appear on your phone bill. You can call Kvinnofridslinjen if you want someone to talk to about your experiences or if you have questions.
The ones answering your call are social workers or nurses with experience in meeting people in crisis or in difficult situations of life. They have a duty of confidentiality and you can remain anonymous.
Their job is to listen and give you professional support. at Kvinnofridslinjen you can get practical advice for changing your current situation and moving on with your life.
In case of emergency
- Try to get away from home.
- Call SOS Telephone 112 for further help.