Criminal Justice for Assaulted Women in Sweden – Law versus Practice

Maria Scheffer Lindgren, Barbro Renck, Christian Diesen


This article examines whether there is criminal justice for women in reported cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) in Sweden. A sample of 474 cases drawn from police records show that criminal justice for victims of IPV does not accord with the intentions of the law. Factors that were most likely to increase the probability of the crime report leading to prosecution were whether the suspect had been interrogated and whether the woman was cooperating. IPV crimes have been subject to public prosecution since 1982 in Sweden, which means that legal action can be taken without the women’s cooperation, but in most of the cases that still seems to be a requirement for pursuing prosecution and for taking other legal action, such as issuing contact prohibition orders or the provision of injured party counsel. There is a need for greater knowledge of the complexity of IPV, and a greater willingness to take serious measures against these serious crimes.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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