If you have come to Sweden because of family ties and are treated badly
In Sweden, it is against the law to subject someone to violence or to other types of degrading treatment. Degrading treatment means that you treat a person badly by, for example, threatening or injuring him or her. This applies to everyone staying or living here. It also applies to persons who have been violent toward their partner (wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend) within a personal relationship or if a child has been subjected to violence.
The police investigate whether a crime has been committed, and prosecutors decide whether the person accused shall be brought to court. If the court finds that the accused is guilty of a crime, he or she will receive a sentence.
If you have been treated in a violent or degrading manner within a relationship, or by an employer or other person, you should report this to the police. The same applies if it is your child that has experienced bad/degrading treatment or violence.
People who inflict violence on a person who does not have a permanent residence permit sometimes say that they can have the victim deported from Sweden or that social services will take the victim's children if he or she talks about the violence. This is not true. Only the Migration Agency may decide on residence permits. The Social Services do not take the children away from a person because he or she has been or is being exposed to violence. On the contrary, the social services can support and help the person affected.
If a relationship comes to an end
If you have a temporary residence permit because of your connection or ties with a person who is a resident in Sweden and the relationship ends, the general rule is that your residence permit will not be renewed and you will have to leave Sweden. However, there are three exceptions to this rule:
- If the relationship has ended mainly because of serious or repeated incidents of degrading treatment. The relationship must have been of a serious, long-term, nature. It must appear likely that incidents of degrading treatment have taken place. To show that degrading treatment has occurred, it may help to refer to police reports, doctors' or medical certificates, and certificates from the social services and shelters.
- you have a connection to Sweden. This might be to your child who has a right to stay in Sweden, to a new partner or to the labour market if you have been employed.
- you risk being excluded socially if you return to your country of origin, or if you are seriously ill or severely disabled.
If you need support
If you are in a vulnerable situation (where you are not safe) and need help or protection you can contact the police, social services or a shelter.
Please see below some useful phone numbers and links.
If you need emergency help from the police, call 112 and ask to speak to the police. If you wish to speak to the police, but there is no emergency, call 114 14. Please see also the police home page.
A site with details of telephone helplines for women who are victims of physical, psychological or sexual violence: www.kvinnofridslinjen.se
The national organization for women's and young women's shelters in Sweden: www.roks.se
A site with information about your rights: dinarattigheter.se/
Men's shelter www.mansjouren.se