Skip to main content

Recognising Sexual Violence: Developing Pathways to Survivor-Centred Justice

In the political imaginary, the meaning of justice in cases of sexual violence is usually equated with criminal justice. However, research shows that justice for survivors of sexual violence is a more nuanced and complex phenomenon. Taking survivor-centred justice seriously demands the rethinking of different justice mechanisms and the creation of different political, social and legal pathways to justice. To address the “justice deficit” in cases of sexual violence the conference explored alternative approaches to justice as part of efforts to hold the state and offenders to account.

The conference was open to all and consisted of five panels exploring the topic across different themes and regions with a particular emphasis on the Nordic context. A special Nordic workshop was also held parallel to the conference. Results include further collaboration between researchers on the topic as well as video recordings from the conference for public dissemination.

Profiling Nordic Perpetrators of Gendered Online Abuse: Who, Why and How to Curb the Harm

The Nordic Digital Rights and Equality Foundation (NORDREF) – in collaboration with women’s shelters, police authorities and courts – will conduct research that aims to profile perpetrators of gender-based online abuse in Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, using various sources and methods.

The research will focus particularly on image-based sexual abuse, illegal threats and sexual harassment (including so-called dickpics). The ongoing pandemic has led to an uptake in use of digital communications and a rise in digital manifestations of violence against women, referred to as the ‘shadow pandemic’ by the UN. The negative impact this has on women’s both personal and public life has been evident in a Nordic and a global context. 

Establishing a perpetrator profile such as age, gender, motive and relationship to the victim lays the foundation for evidence-based proposals with the aim of countering and ultimately preventing online abuse, which in turn strengthens democracy and gender-equality. 

Human trafficking – Why unaccompanied girls and boys become victims of human trafficking

The main purpose of the Nordic-Baltic Network of Policewomen (NBNP) was to focus on why unaccompanied girls and boys, young women and men arriving to the Nordic and Baltic countries become victims of human trafficking. 

The aim was to share knowledge, experiences and raise awareness of Nordic and Baltic police, prosecutors, social and health workers, immigrant authorities, politicians, researchers and NGOs on identifying unaccompanied children and young people as victims of human trafficking, and discuss how to combat human trafficking of girls and boys and young women and men in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The project included a police and a gender perspective in the activities.

NBNP arranged two activities on human trafficking:

  • An expert seminar for police and border guards in Malmö. Authorities and organisations working daily with unaccompanied girls and boys arriving in Sweden presented challenges of identifying child victims of human trafficking and tools developed to combat human of children and young people. The experts also visited organisations working with victims of human trafficking.
  • A two-day seminar was arranged in Vilnius, Lithuania for Nordic and Baltic experts working daily with human trafficking. At the seminar the experts shared knowledge and experience on girls and boys as victims human trafficking, and discussed problems unaccompanied children and young people meet, when they arrive to the Nordic and Baltic countries. Questions as: Why do they disappear, live in the streets and are in the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, was discussed. The seminar was arranged in cooperation with the Lithuanian Police and Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania.

Confronting gendered violence: Focus on perpetrators

“Confronting Gendered Violence: Focus on Perpetrators” is a conference held in Helsinki, 30 November – 2 December 2016. The conference sets focus on the contexts of perpetrators in the Nordic countries, seeking ways to break the cycles of violence. The purpose of the conference is to generate knowledge within the field and explore different ways to address domestic and intimate partner violence. The conference will present fresh results from a Nordic report on models to end domestic and intimate partner violence and offer a platform for sharing lessons, discussing the implementation of the Istanbul convention as well as forming a Nordic network for professionals focusing on perpetrators.

The project partners organized the conference in cooperation with the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of ministers.

Online violence against women in the Nordic region

With the rise of social media and the spread of new technology, violence against women online has increased in recent years. It now includes harassment, persecution, blackmail / threats, identity theft, access to or dissemination of private data, child pornography, sexual abuse or rape, and uploading photos and videos without consent.

This project aimed to document how online violence against women is expressed in Iceland, Denmark and Norway. This was done through in-depth interviews with people affected by online violence and revenge porn.

A special focus was also placed on gathering experience of reporting offenders and getting legal redress. What opportunities and approaches exist? To place the issue in a global context, the final report was written in English and published online. Summaries are available in Icelandic, Danish and Norwegian. The goal is to contribute to gender equality policy discussions, nationally and locally, about online violence.

The report in summary, in English, Danish, Icelandic and Norwegian.

Violence among young couples

How can intimate partner violence among young couples be prevented in the Nordic countries? The answer to this question was discussed in April 2016 in Oslo at the first-ever Nordic expert conference on the topic. The conference attracted representatives from across the Nordic region, and the issues discussed also included the connections between young men’s violence, masculine ideals and gender roles. The event was arranged by Reform – Resource Centre for Men in Norway together with partner organisations in Finland, Denmark and Sweden.

The aim with the conference was to develop shared recommendations and guidelines for the future Nordic cooperation, with a particular focus on how intimate partner violence among young couples affects both the victim and the perpetrator. The intention was to make these recommendations useful and available to organisations and authorities. The recommendations were compiled in 2016 and the project ended during the autumn the same year.

Reinforced cooperation among Nordic women’s centres

The network Nordic Women Against Violence (NKMV) has arranged a number of yearly conferences aimed to strengthen the cooperation between Nordic women’s centres and organisations combating violence against women and children in the Nordic countries. In 2014, the conference was funded by the Nordic Gender Equality Fund and hosted by the Danish National Organisation of Women’s Shelters (LOKK). It consisted of various workshops and other events, with an overarching aim of facilitating effective sharing of experience and knowledge.

The conference was held in October 2014 and helped increase networking among practitioners in the Nordic countries. It also yielded knowledge about new methods and opportunities for sharing of experiences in the work against violence.

Gendered violence – Nordic-Baltic dialogue

Gender-based violence is a global problem that is usually confronted only locally or nationally. The project Gendered Violence – Nordic-Baltic Dialogue aimed to establish Nordic-Baltic police cooperation focusing on the work against trafficking, men’s violence against women and men’s violence against other men. The goal was to increase the capacity of law enforcement to combat trafficking and gender-based violence and to build expert networks. Another ambition was to facilitate sharing of knowledge and experiences in relation to these themes.

Updated 21 November 2019