Visit by EU representatives for exchange of experiences regarding violence prevention work
On 16 and 17 September the Ministry of Employment and the European Commission hosted a seminar on violence prevention with a focus on men, boys and masculine norms. Representatives from 15 EU countries took part. Participants visited Botkyrka municipality, where they received information on the joint efforts by social services, police and schools to prevent violence.
Domestic violence against women is estimated to cost society several billion kronor a year in Sweden. A few years ago, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) calculated the corresponding cost for the entire EU as more than two trillion kronor. Counteracting violence against women is a priority issue for the Government and the EU. In 2016 the Government adopted a ten-year national strategy for the period 2017–2026 with the principal objective of developing society’s work on violence prevention. Research and experiences show that violence needs to be prevented at an early stage and that this work needs to include boys and men to achieve a change.
“Men’s violence against women must cease. This requires political engagement and effective violence prevention work with the focus on men and boys in Sweden and the world. I hope that this seminar was an important first step in developing cooperation on these issues within the EU,” says Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen.
The Government is investing SEK 1.5 billion to implement the national strategy during the period 2017–2020, which includes:
- Assignments and funds to the county councils so they can support the municipalities in their work.
- A gender policy agreement with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), which covers financing the support to the municipalities.
- Grants to non-profit organisations.
The European seminar participants made a study visit to Botkyrka, a municipality that has succeeded in establishing permanent violence prevention work in compulsory schools and upper secondary schools with social services and the police. In Botkyrka, the violence prevention work starts very early, in antenatal care. Then the work continues in preschool, school and through non-profit organisations such as sports associations. The violence prevention work also aims to involve parents at an early stage, to build up mutual trust.
Seminar participants heard how the county administrative board in Västerbotten is working with the organisation MÄN to support violence prevention work with young people in four of the county’s sparsely populated municipalities.