Questions and Answers
Question: I was raped two years ago. Can I phone Kvinnofridslinjen?
Answer: Yes. It is not unusual that it takes time to understand what has happened and to dare to talk about it. Sometimes emotions connected to the rape are brought up by other events in your life, for example in a current sexual relationship, hearing about someone else who has been raped or experiencing a big change such as having children. It is not too late to report the rape to the police. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can provide you with information about where to turn to get help and support. You can also phone us if you want to ask about something to do with the rape or if you just want to talk.
Question: My husband has never caused me serious physical injury. But he says that he is going to kill me. I am frightened. Is this abuse?
Answer: Yes. Having your life threatened by your partner is psychological abuse and a criminal offence. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can provide you with information about where you can turn to get support and help, or how you can report this to the police. You can also phone us if you want to talk to someone about what you have been through.
Question: My partner sometimes flies into a fit of rage; he has thrown me against the wall, dragged me over the floor by my hair and smashed my things to pieces in front of the children. I am worried about the children now. Can I phone Kvinnofridslinjen?
Answer: Yes. You have been subjected to violence. Children who witness violence are also victims of crime. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can provide you with information about where you and your children can get help and support. Many services also accept children. You can also phone us if you want to speak to someone about the situation you and your children find yourselves in.
Question: My ex-boyfriend made a recording of us when we had sex. Now he has put the film on the internet. What shall I do?
Answer: To put a film with sensitive content on the internet against your will is a crime which you can report to the police. Feel free to phone Kvinnofridslinjen so that you can discuss the situation, what you can do about it and who can give you support.
Question: My girlfriend is jealous and bitches about nearly every one I know. From the outside we are the perfect lesbian couple. But she is totally dominating. She is the clever one and has a good job. When I have my own opinion about something she makes fun of me and when I try to do things in my own way it's almost always wrong. I feel worthless. It feels like she looks down on me, although she says that she loves me and can't live without me. Several times in the last year she has slapped me or shoved me hard when we have rowed. It always happens when I say something positive about someone else or if I've contradicted her. I hardly dare say anything any longer. She gets so terribly angry. I don't know what I should do.
Answer: What you are saying is that your girlfriend beats you both physically and psychologically. As a consequence you feel "worthless" and daren't express yourself any longer because of her anger. Your girlfriend controls you by using violence so that you don't say what you think. What you have described is serious and characteristic of violence within close relationships. Repeated and long-term violence is a crime called "gross violation of a woman's integrity". The situation you are living in is destructive and you should take action to bring about a change. People often need someone to talk to who can help and support them. It is important that you have a way out should the violence escalate. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can provide you with support and information about where you can turn for help in your local area.
Question: Lots of lads come to the place where I work. Usually it's fun; you flirt and have a joke with them. But then something happened. Late one night I met two of the lads outside. I had had a bit to drink. They asked if I wanted to go home with them. I said "no". But then they said that I couldn't get away unless I gave them a blow job. When I tried to get away one of the lads sat on me while the other one put it in my mouth. When I threw up they said that I was "bloody" disgusting and that I ought to apologise. Now I don't dare to go to work. I feel disgusting and ashamed. I haven't talked to anyone about this. I don't want to live any more.
Answer: You have been subjected to a sexual assault and it is normal to feel the way you do afterwards. What you have been through is not your fault. You have a right to help and support and you don't have to deal with this experience alone. The lads you describe have subjected you to a criminal act which you can report to the police. Phone Kvinnofridslinjen or contact someone who can support you and tell them what has happened. Either you or someone close to you can call us to talk and to see what options you have. If the assault took place less than a week ago, then if you wish you can get in touch with the health service which is able to provide you with care and support. They can also document any possible injuries and take tests so that you have evidence against the lads should you wish to report the incident to the police. If you experience anxiety which you can't deal with, the emergency psychiatric service is also an option.
Question: I am seven months pregnant. A few weeks ago my husband and I had a row. He pushed me against the wall so that I fell over and sprained my wrist. The next time we rowed he hit me in the face, called my parents and said that I was insane and that they ought to thank him for putting up with me. Then he said that I had to get out, kicked me in the back and locked me out of the house in the middle of the night. My husband has never hit me before. Now he says that it was a mistake and that he just wanted to "test" me. I don't trust him any longer. Is that right or wrong?
Answer: What you have been through is serious and you and your child are at risk. Unfortunately it does happen that men who have never been violent before start to beat their partner when she becomes pregnant. Your current situation is not safe and it is important that you are prepared should the violence continue. You can either contact an authority (the police, social services) or if you don't want to do that, tell a friend, relative or maternity services. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can help you work out what your options are.
Question: My cousin came to Sweden six months ago. She isn't allowed out and her husband beats her. She's from Albania and can't speak Swedish. When I last saw her she said that she couldn't live like this. I said that I could help her but she is frightened and doesn't feel secure in "Swedish society". Her husband has told her that she won't be able to cope and that she'll end up as a whore without him (she hasn't any money). Is there anyone who can help her?
Answer: Your cousin is in a difficult situation and it's good that you are helping her. What you describe is serious and your cousin needs help as soon as possible. Inflicting violence and restricting someone's freedom of movement is a crime which can be reported to the police. If your cousin doesn't want to get in touch with the authorities, there are voluntary organisations to which she can turn for help and support. Phone Kvinnofridslinjen, amongst other things we can provide information about women's refuges where Albanian is spoken, and which have special competence in issues concerning women who are new to Sweden.
Question: When we go out my boyfriend wants me to look sexy. He says that he enjoys seeing other lads looking at me while he is the only one who can take me home and "do it" with me. When we come home he says that he must punish me because I am like a whore and forces me into sexual acts that I don't want to do. He has also forced me to have sex in a public toilet. As soon as I wear "normal" clothes or don't put make-up on he says that I am "bl-dy" ugly, like an old hag and that I am frigid. I wish that he could change and love me as I am. I love him but I always feel sad and strange. How did it end up like this?
Answer: You say that your boyfriend dictates what you wear, how you behave and says degrading things about you. In addition he has forced you to have sex, which is a criminal act. You describe a destructive relationship where your boyfriend commits acts of psychological and sexual violence against you. Now you want to change the relationship and wish that your boyfriend was different. Your boyfriend must take responsibility for his behaviour and actions himself. A relationship where you don't feel loved, cannot be yourself and which makes you feel sad is unsustainable. In this sort of situation you may need to talk with someone and get support. A phone call to Kvinnofridslinjen can be a first step towards finding out how to change your situation. We also have information about other organisations which can give you support and advice.