National Centre against Honour-related Violence and Oppression
The County Administrative Board of Östergötland has had different missions to work against honour-related violence on behalf of the Swedish government since 2005. In 2014 an expert team was formed to coordinate and support efforts to prevent and counteract honour-related violence and oppression, child marriage, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, as well as provide knowledge and competence in this area.
In 2022 the mission became permanent and National Centre against Honour-related Violence and Oppression was established. The mission of the centre is to support and contribute to a strategic, preventive and knowledge-based work against honour-related violence and oppression on a national, regional and local level.
The centre shall amongs other things:
- Support municipalities and regions in their work to introduce, follow up and evaluate methods to support the vulnerable and support their coordination of their efforts.
- Provide support at a general level to professionals who deal with issues of honour-related violence and oppression.
- Ensure that there is a special national function where individuals who are exposed, or at risk of being exposed, to honour-related violence and oppression can turn to for advice and guidance at a general level.
- Regularly examine the extent of honour-related violence and oppression in Sweden and the development of society´s efforts in the area.
- Gather and distribute knowledge about honour-related violence and oppression based on research and proven experience.
Are you a professional or volunteer in need of advice and consultation in situations where children and adults are, or are at risk of being, subjected to honour-related oppression, violence, child marriage, forced marriage and female genital mutilation? If so, you can call the national helpline. The purpose of the helpline is to provide support so that vulnerable children and adults receive the support and protection they need and to which they are entitled.
You can call the helpline both in emergency cases and in matters relating to prevention or long-term support. We receive questions about, among other things, treatment, detecting vulnerabilities, threat and risk assessments, care and placement, collaboration and information about current legislation.
Helpline number: 010-223 57 60
The helpline is staffed on weekdays, Monday to Friday, from 09:00-16:00.
On a few occasions, the helpline has not been accessible due to technical problems. If this happens, call switchboard 010-223 50 00.
Considerations before calling:
Do not reveal the identities of those you are dealing with – do not provide names or social security numbers.
Responsibility to report concern applies for professionals
If you work at an agency whose activities concern children and young people, you must immediately file a report with the social services if you suspect that a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm. This includes those employed in health care, dental care, nursery school, school, social services or correctional services.
Link to the National Board of Health and Welfare’s website specifying reporting obligations.
Are you being subjected yourself?
For advice, support and help – turn to social services in your municipality. This also applies in emergency situations. In case of an emergency or ongoing crime, call the police at 112.
There are also non-government organisations that can give you help and support.
Why a national helpline?
The background to setting up the helpline is that the County Administrative Board of Östergötland, through previous activities, has become aware of the substantial and varied needs for advice and guidance among professionals around the country, regarding matters concerning honour-related violence and oppression.
The need for a helpline for professionals has been identified in the context of knowledge dissemination and other previous efforts. Moreover, even before the start of the national helpline, the County Administrative Board of Östergötland received calls from all over the country on a daily basis through the network of contacts established throughout the country based on national government missions. Read more in the County Administrative Board’s report on the Swedish Expert Team and the National Helpline.
The phone is not something that has been added instead of, for example, educational efforts, but is to be seen as a complement. There is still considerable need for education and training. You can find out about how to book a course here.
Statistics on helpline cases
Based on the cases received by the helpline, certain statistics have been compiled. These statistics give an overall picture of the cases and the vulnerability that have come to the attention of the County Administrative Board of Östergötland, but do not give a complete picture of the occurrence of honour-related violence and oppression, child marriage, forced marriage and female genital mutilation in Sweden. The statistics are updated once each quarter. You find the statistics here under the section ”Statistik över ärenden till stödtelefonen”.
Many received calls concern cases that are very serious and the situations more or less of an emergency nature. Those the calls refer to have been subjected to violations of their human rights and often criminal acts. These are, above all, girls and young women who are being subjected to many different types of violence, abuse, restrictions and control. There are often several perpetrators, including parents, siblings and other relatives. It can also be a matter of a person who inflicts violence while others in the environment support or allow it to happen. The calls may also involve vulnerable boys and young men, or adult women and men. In almost all cases, it is a matter of repeated abuse and not of isolated acts.
- Child and forced marriages
- Children and young people taken abroad
- Severe physical violence
- Sexual violence
- Serious psychological violence and threats, including death threats
- Extensive control and limitations in everyday life of those abused
- Consequences of genital mutilation or concern about genital mutilation
Read more in the annual reports of the County Administrative Board of Östergötland.
Common call topics
The calls to the national helpline provide a picture of the difficulties faced by various professionals, what they need further guidance on and what needs to be further developed to better meet the needs for support and protection of the vulnerable target group.
Most calls to the helpline come from social services professionals. The second most common are calls from school staff. Here are examples of common topics taken up in the calls:
- Lack of support from management
- Children’s vulnerability and ambivalence, as well as the consequences of violence
- Child perspective versus parental perspective
- Threat and risk assessments
- Removal and placement
- Abducted children and the transnational perspective
- Initiatives for guardians and other family members
- Support for adults and young people
- Signs of abuse
- Reporting concern
- Contact and cooperation with social services
- Children absent from school
- To uphold the basic values of the Education Act
Police and prosecutors
- Threat and risk assessments
- Safety planning
- Support in criminal investigations
- Need for experts
Health and medical care
- Signs of current or past abuse
- Treatment, initiatives and support that can be offered
- Questions about the hymen and certificates of virginity
For more information, see the County Administrative Board’s annual reports.