Sweden

Population size:

10,101,057 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in last 12 months for women = 5% [2]

46% of women since age of 15 [3] and 8-11% of men by partner/spouse in 2013 [4]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

In 2004, the socio-economic costs of intimate partner violence was estimated at between SEK 2 695 million and SEK 3 300 million a year. [5]

A 2006 report, “Kostander för våld mot kvinnor” by the National Board of Health and Welfare estimated that men’s violence against women in Sweden costs approximately SEK three billion per year. The calculations included both direct and indirect costs for various sectors of society. The direct costs amount to between SEK 2–2.5 billion for various measures including healthcare, legal services and social services. The indirect costs are estimated at between SEK 720–760 million and include the value of loss of production and the value of voluntary work. [6]

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current law and policy:

Sweden commits to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and take concrete steps to protect vulnerable women and raise awareness.

Sweden commits to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) and intensify efforts to prevent and combat men's violence against women through national action plans to combat men’s violence against women, violence in same-sex relationships, prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes and forced marriages. The Government will focus on women and girls who are most at  risk, including in ethnic minority or immigrant groups and communities with strong social norms related to concepts of “honour”. Other major parts of the strategy include education and awareness-raising initiatives and development of working methods to enhance knowledge and research on the issue.

Some specific measures include setting up regional joint action groups in this area in all of Sweden’s counties and special funds to support the development of local joint action in the municipalities concerning violence against women.  In 2012 the Government appointed a national Domestic Violence Coordinator to bring together and support the relevant authorities, municipalities, county councils and organisations to increase the effectiveness, quality and sustainability of the work against violence in close relationships. The Government is taking measures to prevent and combat sexual violence, for example, through the development of a unit at the Centre for Andrology and Sexual Medicine (CASM) that receives people who commit, or are at risk of committing, sexual violence. The National Police Board is conducting an information campaign on intimate partner violence and honour crimes and National Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence Against Women (Uppsala University) has been tasked with developing a national telephone support line, Kvinnofridslinjen, to assure the quality of the support it provides and to reach out to more women who are subjected to threats, violence and/or sexual abuse.


A number of legislative changes have also been implemented recently, including a new act that broadens the system of investigations regarding children who have died as a result of crime to include cases in which women or men have died as a result of a crime committed by a close relative. New rules have been enforced to strengthen restraining orders to protect people subjected to violence, threats, harassment and stalking. A new crime has been introduced, unlawful persecution, to reinforce penal sanctions against harassment and stalking. In order to better implement the ban on early and forced marriages and child marriages, as well as on honour-related violence and oppression, the Government has appointed a special coordinator. The Government has also set up an inquiry to identify and analyse the occurrence and extent of violence, threats and violations that may affect foreign women who have been granted a residence permit on the grounds of an association with a man residing in Sweden.

Public spending - Action plan for combatting men's violence against women, and violence in the name of honour and in same-gender relationships included a budget of SEK 800 million for implementation between 2008-2010.

The Swedish Gender Equality Agency will receive SEK 1.8 million to identify and develop effective working methods that municipalities can use to spread information about domestic violence and ‘honour’-based violence and oppression, and to establish contact with victims of violence during the pandemic. Furthermore, the government intends to adopt an ordinance on government grants to allocate SEK 100 million to non-profit organisation activities addressing increased vulnerability resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19.[7]


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] Worldometer, “Sweden Population (Live)”, (worldometers.info)

[2] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014. Violence against Women: An EU-wide Survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union

[3] https://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/-/media/files/un%20women/vaw/country%20report/europe/sweden/sweden%20srvaw.pdf?vs=3057

[4] https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//male-victims-of-partner-violence-outnumber-females.cid1185940 ; https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-945 ; https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/6/e002055.long

[5] https://rm.coe.int/168059aa22

[6] https://www.coe.int/t/pace/campaign/stopviolence/Source/sweden_analysis_costofviolence_en.pdf

[7] https://www.government.se/articles/2020/05/measures-to-address-increased-vulnerability-due-to-the-coronavirus/