Substantial investments in the budget to prevent and combat men’s violence against women
Men’s violence against women must stop. This is a priority issue for the Government. In the Budget Bill for 2022, the Government proposes a range of measures to prevent and combat men’s violence against women and honour-based violence and oppression. This involves permanent funds and government grants, and a sheltered housing reform for adults and children who are subjected to violence.
Stopping men’s violence against women has been a priority for the Government in both the current and previous electoral periods. In June this year, the Government presented a package of 40 measures to step up efforts to combat men’s violence against women. The package includes measures to prevent the use of violence, support and protection to those affected and stricter legislation on prosecuting those who subject their partner or former partner to violence. In the Budget Bill for 2022, the Government proposes extensive resources to help implement the package of measures as well as additional measures that – together with the package of measures – will constitute the action programme to be presented later this autumn.
“Men’s violence against women must stop. Permanent funds and government grants will allow us to create stable and long-term conditions for efforts to prevent men’s violence against women, honour-based violence and oppression, domestic violence, and the efforts to protect those who are subjected to violence. Now we can build on the package that was presented last spring,” says Minister for Gender Equality and Housing Märta Stenevi.
Permanent funds to combat men’s violence against women and honour-based violence and oppression
To ensure that the measures are long-term and that the actors in the area can better plan their activities, the Government proposes allocating SEK 215 million in 2022 to efforts to combat men’s violence against women, which means that a total of SEK 350 million will be available during the year. The Government also proposes that from 2024, the funds be made permanent at a level of SEK 300 million per year.
This investment will make it possible to move away from short-term projects and instead conduct long-term and sustained efforts, which this type of social problem requires. The measures cover all the areas described in the national strategy to prevent and combat men’s violence against women, including LGBTIQ people and men’s vulnerability to domestic violence, and prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes. Children are also severely affected by men’s violence against women and domestic violence, both through witnessing violence and being subjected to violence. The rights of the child and the best interests of the child are basic premises of the national strategy.
Permanent government grants to women’s and girls’ shelters
The Government proposes that government grants to women’s and girls’ shelters, their national organisations and other organisations that provide similar support to those subjected to violence be made permanent. For 2022, the Government proposes additional funding of SEK 50 million on top of the SEK 100 million allocated earlier. Starting in 2023, the Government proposes providing SEK 150 million annually.
Non-profit organisations working with victims of crime have long been an important complement to the public commitment of providing protection and support to victims of crime. The non-profit shelters conduct outward-looking preventive work, and they embody knowledge, competence and experience that is valuable in the development of public activities to support victims of crime.
Reform of sheltered housing for adults and children who are subjected to violence
The initiative regarding sheltered housing for people subjected to violence (usually women) and their children is currently not clearly regulated by law and there are no specific quality or permit requirements. The rights of children in sheltered housing are not always respected when it comes to support, initiatives from health care and schooling. It is therefore necessary to strengthen the child rights perspective for children accompanying a custodial parent being subjected to violence to sheltered housing. The Government intends to present legislative proposals aimed at enhancing the child rights perspective in such housing. The Government plans to present the government bill on this in 2022 and expects that the reform will be able to enter into force on 1 January 2023.
The proposal will require application of the financing principle. The Government will allocate SEK 30 million for preparations in 2022. For 2023, the reform is expected to cost SEK 345 million and thereafter SEK 375 million annually.
Stricter quality requirements based on new legislation may mean that some non-profit organisations that run sheltered housing may have to adapt their activities to comply with the new requirements. The Government therefore proposes allocating funds for a temporary targeted government grant aimed at supporting the non-profit organisations that run sheltered housing and that need to improve the quality of their activities. The temporary government grant is expected to amount to SEK 50 million in 2022, SEK 50 million in 2023 and SEK 20 million in 2024.
Investment in permanent housing for women and children subjected to violence
Women and children subjected to violence should not have to leave sheltered housing and return to the perpetrator simply because they lack permanent housing. In the Budget Bill for 2022, the Government therefore proposes appointing an expert group to strengthen efforts by municipalities to provide people subjected to violence with permanent housing. To establish this expert group, it is proposed that SEK 15 million be allocated in 2022 and SEK 30 million in 2023 and 2024. Some of these funds will go to activities in a number of pilot municipalities.
Funds to Kvinnofridslinjen and PrevenTell to be made permanent
It is of the utmost importance that people subjected to violence have someplace they can turn to for help and further guidance on how they can extricate themselves from their situation. One such opportunity is the national helpline for women subjected to violence, Kvinnofridslinjen. It is run by the National Centre for Knowledge on Men’s Violence Against Women (NCK), based at Uppsala University. The Government therefore proposes allocating SEK 8 million annually to Uppsala University to provide long-term and favourable conditions for operating Kvinnofridslinjen.
In 2012, the Government helped launch the national helpline PrevenTell to prevent sexual violence. Support for treatment against sexual violence is part of the Government’s crime prevention efforts to prevent serious crime targeted primarily at women and children. PrevenTell focuses on perpetrators, who are offered adequate treatment programmes, and relatives and care providers, who need advice and assistance in dealing with issues concerning sexual violence and sexual abuse. The Government wants to establish long-term conditions so that PrevenTell’s activities can continue and – in the Budget Bill for 2022 – proposes that SEK 5 million be allocated annually to PrevenTell.
Increased resources for the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, the National Board of Institutional Care and health care
The 2020 Sexual Offences Inquiry was tasked with reviewing the scales of penalties for sexual crimes. Last summer, the Inquiry presented its findings, which have been circulated for comment. The Inquiry proposes tightening the scales of penalties for most sexual offences. In light of the proposals, the costs for the Swedish Prison and Probation Service are expected to increase. In the Budget Bill for 2022, the Government proposes increasing the appropriation to the Swedish Prison and Probation Service by SEK 8 million in 2022. The appropriation is expected to increase by SEK 23 million in 2023 and by SEK 155 million in 2024.
In view of some of the proposed stricter penalties, the Government considers that more young people will be sentenced to institutional youth care, which in turn will result in increased costs for the National Board of Institutional Care. For this purpose, the Government proposes that the National Board of Institutional Care be allocated SEK 8 million for 2022 and SEK 17 million annually from 2023.
The Sexual Offences Inquiry also proposes introducing a new act instructing health care services to secure evidence following sexual offences. In view of the proposal on securing evidence following sexual offences, it is expected that expenditures for health care services will increase. The Government therefore proposes increasing the general grant to municipalities by SEK 2 million from 2022.
Press Secretary to Minister for Gender Equality and Housing, with responsibility for urban development, anti-segregation and anti-discrimination Märta Stenevi
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