Perpetrators of domestic violence

If you are a man or woman who is living, or has lived, in a relationship in which your behaviour may have alarmed, violated the dignity of or physically or psychologically harmed your loved ones, you can receive support and therapy to help you change your ways. The Centre Against Violence can offer you professional help. There are alternatives to violence.

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Do you recognise yourself in the following?

  • Have you lost control of yourself in a manner that made someone close to you afraid or distressed?
  • Do your partner or children feel that you are overly controlling and limit their freedom in a way that makes their life difficult?
  • Have you been physically or psychologically violent to someone close to you?
  • Have you stopped yourself using violence but feared that you would?
  • Are you concerned for the wellbeing of your children because of any of the above?

We offer individual or group therapy to help you find methods to curb your behaviour so that you do not harm your loved ones, whether physically or psychologically. Get in touch and we will be happy to tell you more about what our therapy involves.

The service is free of charge

It costs nothing to get help and support from us. Our staff have a duty of confidentiality, meaning that those who work at the Centre Against Violence are not permitted to disclose anything you say to them to anyone else. The only exception is if this conflicts with their duty to report concerns about the welfare of a child under 18 years of age, in which case they will contact social services, initially with your cooperation, to ensure that your child receives the support and help they need. If you need an interpreter, they will help to arrange this.

At the Centre Against Violence, you can:

  • learn to deal with and set boundaries for your anger and aggression;
  • talk about responsibility, power and powerlessness;
  • get parenting support (including Breaking the Legacy of Violence);
  • meet other people with similar experiences to your own;
  • acquire knowledge about violence and its impact;
  • process violent outbursts; and
  • train in alternatives to violence.

Breaking the legacy of violence: parental precautions against violence

Are you worried about how things you were exposed to as a child will affect your own parenting? Perhaps you are already a parent of young children or are considering parenthood? Perhaps, given your experiences of violence, you have doubts about whether you can cope with parenthood.

Get help with your parenting through the course Breaking the Legacy of Violence.

Research shows that we repeat patterns of behaviour inherited from our own parents, with a negative impact on how we behave towards our children. If you have been subjected to violence as a child, it is important to take such concerns seriously.

We can arrange for you to attend a group of five to ten people in your situation. These groups are for those over 23 years of age, perhaps already with a child up to five years of age, expecting a baby or considering having children. You can attend alone or as a couple.

When?
Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are unable to hold courses during spring 2021. However, as soon as the situation improves, we will be starting!

How?
We will work together to disseminate knowledge, perform simple exercises and activities and discuss and exchange experiences, ideas and good solutions.

Meetings are led by Jonerik Nilsson and Anna Gustafsson from Skellefteå Municipality’s Centre Against Violence, both of whom have a wealth of experience of working with domestic violence.

Contact
Please get in touch for further information or to register for a course.
Call us on 073 063 87 70 or 070 661 23 28.
Or send an email to jonerik.nilsson@skelleftea.se or anna.gustafsson@skelleftea.se
If you can’t reach us by telephone, please leave a message with your telephone number on our voicemail and we will get back to you.

Meetings
This is where we will post information about dates and places for meetings.

Meeting agenda:

  • What is anger? What is violence?
  • How does growing up with domestic violence affect children?
  • What do children need to be safe?
  • From guilt and shame (afraid to talk) to openness and responsibility.
  • How do we safely deal with our own anger?
  • What should we do if...? There is a great to deal of security to be had from knowing how to deal with difficulties.
  • Where can you turn when you need parenting help?

What is violence?

Any act that frightens, injures, causes pain to or degrades another person in order to influence or control them is violence.

Violence occurs in all social groups and at all ages. One cannot say that it only applies to a specific type of person or relationship. In Sweden, domestic violence is a crime.

People use violence in intimate relationships in order to assert power and control over their partner. It is common for the perpetrator of violence to have attempted to exert other forms of control over their partner before they resort to hitting them. Once violence does start it will almost always escalate if the relationship continues.

Definition of domestic violence

Domestic violence is characterised by the victim having a close relationship, and often strong emotional bonds, with the perpetrator. This complicates matters and makes it harder to resist and leave the relationship. This kind of violence generally occurs in the victim’s home. The longer the relationship continues, the more likely the violence is to increase in intensity and severity.

The term domestic violence encompasses all types of violence between people in close relationships: in heterosexual and homosexual relationships, relationships between siblings and within other familial relationships.

Psychological violence

Psychological violence can take many forms but it always has a tremendous impact on the wellbeing of the victim. If you are regularly criticised, questioned, degraded and treated as if you are stupid by your partner, you may well become insecure about yourself and what you think and say. You may even begin to think that what they say is true and that you are to blame for any conflicts or arguments that arise in your relationship. You may do what your partner tells you simply to avoid an argument, threats and/or violence.

If your partner threatens to take their own life if you leave the relationship, that too is psychological violence. They may also threaten to harm you or someone close to you, or harm your pet in some way.

Another form of psychological violence is to prevent you from comforting your children or seeking treatment for yourself or the children.
Psychological violence may involve your partner doing one or more of the following:

  • Saying and doing things to degrade you.
  • Accusing you of something you did not do.
  • Making you believe that you are the one who usually thinks or does the wrong things in the relationship.
  • Behaving unpredictable. What was right yesterday is wrong today; in fact, you can do no right.
  • Checking and offering unsolicited opinions about your social media posts and text messages.
  • Controlling you to the extent that it becomes difficult for you to maintain contact with friends and family.
  • Threatening to harm you or someone you love, whether a person or animal.
  • Scaring you with threatening gestures or comments.
  • Making everyday life difficult for you, for example, by hiding things you need.
  • Breaking furniture or other objects you like.
  • Having fun at your expense, ridiculing and mocking you.
  • Controlling household finances.
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Physical violence

Physical violence can range from pulling hair, slapping, pushing, punching, kicking, strangulation or attempted suffocation to assault with a weapon. The perpetrator of physical violence often deliberately targets areas of the body where bruises and other injuries will not attract the attention of outsiders. The violence may even cause injuries that cannot be hidden, such as fractures, eye damage or scratches. bruises and cuts on exposed areas of the body. Physical violence may be a recurring event or remain an ever-present threat.

They are many ways to inflict physical violence. For example, your partner may do one or more of the following:

  • Pinch, shake or restrain you.
  • Pull your hair.
  • Drag or pull you.
  • Throw things at you.
  • Place a stranglehold on you.
  • Punch or kick you.
  • Bang your head against something.
  • Prevent you from sleeping.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence refers to any sexual act committed against your will, ranging from pestering you into having sex all the way to rape. You may be forced to perform degrading sexual acts against your will. Physical violence against your breasts and genitals may also be sexual violence.
Sexual violence can be both physical and psychological; for example, your partner may do one or more of the following:

  • Have sex with you against your will.
  • Make unsolicited sexual remarks to you.
  • Touch you sexually against your will.
  • Pester you into having sex or force you to perform various types of sexual act.
  • Force you to watch pornography against your will.
  • Force you to have sex with multiple partners.
  • Put you in a situation where you feel unable to say no to sex. The victim may feel that the price of refusing sex will be too high.

Sweden has a consent law stating that sex must be voluntary; otherwise, it is a criminal offence. This means that, unless you actively consent to having sex, the offence is the same as if you had said no and your wishes were not respected.

Material violence

Material violence may involve destroying the family’s joint possessions, the partner’s personal property or the children’s toys. The perpetrator of violence may well select things of particular sentimental value to the partner or child in order to threaten, degrade and hurt them. They may also target things that their partner needs in their everyday life.

Economic violence

Economic violence means that the perpetrator controls the family’s finances and the partner’s money in such a way that the partner must ask for money for every purchase. It may also refer to the opposite relationship, where the partner is forced to pay for all household expenses while the perpetrator uses their money for their own pleasure and investments.

Violence against people with disabilities

People who are dependent on others for everyday nursing and care may also be subjected to neglect, such as the withholding of medication or being given a diet without sufficient nutrients.
This category of violence also includes one partner forcing the other to do things against their will or threatening them, keeping them confined at home or being in their home without permission.

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