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 or hearing about someone else who has been raped. It is not too late for you to report the rape to the police. You can phone Kvinnofridslinjen if you want to ask about something to do with the rape or if you just want to talk. We can also provide you with information about where to turn to get help and support where you live.

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. You can phone Kvinnofridslinjen if you want to talk to someone about what you have been through. We can also provide you with information about where you can turn to get support and help, or how you can report this to the police.

Question: My partner sometimes flies into a fit of rage; he has thrown me against the wall 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 and the violence has a direct effect on their health and wellbeing. You can phone Kvinnofridslinjen if you want to speak to someone about the situation you and your children find yourselves in. We can also provide you with information about where you and your children can get help and support.

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 everyone 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. 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 further. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can provide you with support and information about where you can turn for help in your local area.

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. Your current situation is not safe and it is important that you are prepared should the violence continue. You can either contact a local authority such as the police, social services or maternity services, or tell a friend or relative. At Kvinnofridslinjen we can help you work out what your options are.

Question: My cousin came to Sweden six months ago and she can’t speak Swedish. She isn’t allowed out and her husband beats her. 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 feels insecure. She hasn’t any money and her husband has told her that she won’t be able to cope without him. Is there anyone who can help her?

Answer: Your cousin is in a difficult situation and it’s good that you are trying to help 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. Your cousin can get in touch with the local authorities where she lives, such as the police or the social services. There are also voluntary organizations to which she can turn for help and support. Phone Kvinnofridslinjen, amongst other things we can provide information about women’s refuges where many languages are spoken, and which have special competence in issues concerning women who are new to Sweden.