Victimisation in close relationships – evenly distributed between women and men, but more serious against women

May 19, 2014

While victimisation in 2012 seems evenly distributed between women and men, it is more common for women to be subjected to more serious violence and to have a greater need of help and aid, primarily in the form of medical care.

Anna Frenzel, researcher. Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs

Anna Frenzel. Photo: L. van der Meijs

– Around seven per cent of both women and men state that they were victimized in a close relationship during the year 2012. This goes for both psychological as well as physical violence. Women, on the other hand, are more frequently exposed to recurring violence. Measured over a life time, around 25 per cent of women state that they at some point have been victimized in a close relationship. The corresponding figure for men is just under 17 per cent, says Anna Frenzel, researcher at Brå and author of the report Offences in close relationships.

Psychological and physical violence

The two most common forms of offences are systematic violations and attempts to limit a person's freedom. Some are subjected to both psychological and physical violence in a close relationship. Of those subjected to physical violence in 2012, almost 85 per cent were also subjected to psychological violence, while almost 28 per cent of those subjected to psychological violence were also subjected to physical violence.

The underlying factors that appear to be most relevant are age, family relations, education, liv­ing conditions, and financial conditions. The victimisation is highest among persons between 16 and 34 years of age, single par­ents, persons without education beyond upper secondary school (gymnasium), and persons living in multi-family residential houses. Victimised women often have worse financial conditions than non-victimised women. There are no clear differences in victimisation between persons born in Sweden and those born abroad.