Victim of domestic violence
Domestic violence is when you are subjected to violence, such as threats, physical violence, mental abuse or sexual violence, by someone you have a close relationship with. This could be a partner, ex-partner, parents, siblings or children.
So-called honour-related crimes also fall under this category. The term honour-related crime refers to crime that is committed to preserve or restore a person’s or family’s/relative’s reputation based on a notion of honour.
For the police, the matter is clear-cut. Subjecting someone you know to violence, threats or degrading behaviour is a serious crime. If you or anyone you know – adult or child – is a victim of this, contact the police. This page provides information about how to make a police report, what happens after this, and how you can get support.
Making a police report
To contact the police, call 114 14 or visit your nearest police station. If it is an emergency, always call 112. You can make a police report. The police can also answer questions or refer you to a support organisation or the municipality where you live.
The police will usually interview you when you make your report. You may also be called in for an interview after making your report. It is important for you to provide as much detail as possible about what happened. The police will ask questions such as:
- What kind of threat, violence or other crime was committed?
- Who committed this crime?
- When did it happen? Has it been happening for a long time?
- Are there any witnesses?
- Is there other supporting evidence, such as photos, text messages, or medical records?
If you are injured, you should have your injuries documented, preferably photographed, by a doctor. Also save any threats you receive by voicemail, email, or text message. Think about who may have seen the injuries, if you wrote anything in e.g. a diary, if there are any previous injuries documented with photos, etc. This may be important evidence.
Support in the legal process
In most cases, you have the right to bring along a support person when you meet with the police. You are free to decide who will be your support person. It can be a friend, a municipal official, or someone from a support organisation. The support person will not receive any payment for participating.
You can also have a legal representative (counsel for an injured party). If this is granted, it is free of charge. This legal representative will support you through the entire legal process. Please let the police or the prosecutor know if you would like a legal representative.
Criminal investigation and trial
Once the criminal investigation is complete, the prosecutor will decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute. During a trial, you and the accused (the person suspected of committing the crime) will give testimony about what happened, and the court will make a decision. In some cases, the prosecutor will drop the case because there is not enough evidence. This does not mean that the police or prosecutor do not believe the victim’s story. It means that it is not possible to win the court case with the information available. The case can be reopened if new information becomes available.
Help and support
You can contact the police for support and assistance if you are a victim of domestic violence. The police will usually assess whether you are at risk of domestic violence occurring again. If necessary, they can help you with different types of protection, like a personal safety alarm.
Non-profit organisations with hotlines for crime victims are found in most areas of the country. You can find them, for example, through Kvinnofridslinjen (National Women’s Helpline) and the Victim Support Association. Kvinnofridslinjen is a national support hotline that everyone, including men, can call free of charge. The hotline is manned around the clock, and you can remain anonymous. Your call will not appear on your phone bill. You can also clear the recent calls list from your phone. RFSL - Riksförbundet för sexuellt likaberättigande has a victim support hotline for people who are part of the LGBTQI community. If you are a child or young person, and have been the victim of or witnessed violence in the home, you can call BRIS for help and support. You can also call the police.
Criminal injury compensation
If you have been the victim of a crime, you may be entitled to compensation. However, there must first be a police report. If there is a police report, you can also apply for compensation for your injuries from your insurance company. Children who have witnessed domestic violence are considered victims of crime and are therefore also entitled to criminal injury compensation.
For more information on compensation, please visit the Brottsoffermyndigheten (Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority) website.
Find out more about honour-related crimes.