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Rise in abuse of foreign wives in Sweden: report

TT/David Landes · 17 Feb 2011, 15:42

Published: 17 Feb 2011 15:42 GMT+01:00

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In 2009, 552 women sought help from women's emergency shelters in Sweden due to domestic violence, nearly a 10 percent increase from the 515 women who sought help the year before.

The statistics come from a report released on Wednesday by the National Association of Women's and Young Women's Shelters (Riksorganisationen för kvinnojourer och tjejjourer – ROKS).

According to ROKS, current regulations make it too easy for men to start relationships with foreign women and bring them to Sweden for the sole purpose of taking advantage of them.

"Today legislation is shaped in a way that makes it entirely possible for men to take woman after woman here despite that he subjects her to serious abuses," writes ROKS chair Angela Beausang in an article on the opinion website Newsmill.se.

"This must be changed."

Women caught it in what the group refers to as "wife importing" often lack knowledge about their rights in Sweden and risk being deported if the relationship ends.

According to ROKS, most women who sought help in shelters in 2009 came from Thailand, Iraq or Russia.

They were often lured to Sweden with promises of a better life by a man who talks about having a well paying job, shows pictures of a large house and promises to care for the women once they arrive.

The women often only hold temporary residence permits that are contingent on them maintaining a relationship with the Swedish men who bring them into the country. As a result, the women risk deportation if the relationship ends before the two-year provisional period is over.

However, returning to their home countries is impossible for many women as they have often left everything they have and risk being shunned by relatives in some cases.

According, some women chose to remain in abusive relationships with Swedish men, hoping they can endure the violence long enough to be granted permanent residency in Sweden.

Women who ultimately leave abusive men can apply for an extended residence permit or asylum. The problem, however, is that the level of proof required to apply for a residence permit extension is too high, according to ROKS.

For example, the abuse must take place on repeated occasions, be severe and the relationship needs to have ended in close connection with the violence.

At the same time, the women must also have cohabitated with the abusive men for a sufficiently long time in order for the relationship to have been considered a serious one.

"Women who stay in a relationship in order to meet to cohabitation requirement can, however, be meet with the assessment that the violence must not have been especially severe because she clearly was able to withstand it," the association wrote in its report.

According to 2010 statistics from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) on how many people were granted were granted residence permit extensions due to violence, 17 of 18 cases reviewed as of August 2010 resulted in the granting of an extension.

In five cases, the extensions were granted due to the abuse suffered by the women. One women had her claim rejected because the violence wasn't considered sufficiently severe or recurring.

ROKS compares these 18 cases to the 13,696 women who were granted temporary residence permits in 2009 on the basis of new relationships with Swedish men as well as with the 552 women who sought help from a women's shelter.

Story continues below…

In order to reduce the likelihood of foreign women "being held prisoner" in abusive relationships in Sweden, Beausang wants to see Sweden's current two-year provisional residency period scrapped.

She also wants to see a review of the requirements for proving that a woman has suffered sufficient abuse in order to be granted a residence permit after an abusive relationship has ended.

ROKS argues that women who move to Sweden should receive better information about their rights in the country.

The group also views as "totally unacceptable" the rise in "serial wife importers" who bring foreign women to Sweden to abuse them before kicking them out and replacing them with a new woman.

Beausang cites an EU directive on family reunifications which was integrated into Swedish law in 2006, arguing that the Migration Board has since stopped taking a close look at relationships in which the couple is already married or living together

While the directive had "good intentions," according to Beausang, it can't be changed, but that doesn't mean that Swedish migration authorities can't be more thorough in their investigations.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:55 February 17, 2011 by DAVID T
Let them all stay - we need more
16:11 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
Sweden is such a backward screwed up country.
16:13 February 17, 2011 by Tanskalainen
This is why they marry foreign women, because they are too nerdy and inept to make it with their own and they know a Swedish woman wouldn't put up with their sh it.
16:24 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
Good point Tanskalainen. I would like to see some more info on this. When they say swedish men what exactly do they mean, any guy who happens to live in sweden?
16:40 February 17, 2011 by bow290
this happens all the time in "western" style countries... America, UK, Australia..... what these men are doing is a crime! they should be charged with the assault and if need be made to fund their immigrant partners stay until they decide they want to stay on and seek residence or return to their homelands. its not a backwards country, but similar to what tanskalainen stated; a weak man who is too old, ugly, fat, poor or so on that has to take advantage of these poor women.
16:56 February 17, 2011 by Kaethar
@buschmann: It's a mix. One can assume the average Svensson isn't importing wives from Iraq. But Thailand and Russia are a common stereotype. I wouldn't assume too much from these stats in either direction though. :/
17:05 February 17, 2011 by nyh2o
i completely agree with Beausang =(. the rules should be that your 2 yr temp period will be overlooked if and only if you go to womens rights classes, just like SFI. the women should be free to choose to leave whenever they want to - just like the man is. and looking to the future, if these women are going to live here and raise their daughters here - you really want them to know the rules. an educated mom can only raise an educated daughter.

i see these kinds of women often at my sfi class. they dont say it to your face but its so obvious =(, really dont know what to tell them. they know they have to leave if they dont stay with their men and so have no choice.
17:09 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
A weak man, probably, Is that not a typical swedish stereo type? I mean feminine or what the finns say,Den svenska män är hög. Perhaps they are "shy" and it is easier to buy a wife. Swedish women have a stereo type of thier own "very loose". Perhaps the typical "reserved" swedish man is having trouble competing for women in the new multi cultural sweden.
17:44 February 17, 2011 by krow
What of Rise in abuse of foreign husbands in Sweden: Someone should tell them to have a study and make a report too.
21:07 February 17, 2011 by Just_Kidding
Hey Buschmann... the majority of immigrants are men and obviously they are disadvantaged in competing for women specially with the large number of rich tourists that travel to Sweden from US or Australia and the large number Swedish women that travel and meet people abroad and bring them to Sweden.

It is not a bad idea when an immigrant from a crappy country that manages himself and has an average job brings a woman from his crappy country and start a better life for himself and the woman. This is even better for Swedish families and decreases tension between people. I know that many Swedish men are angry of single immigrants approaching their woman.

But current laws gives some sort of absolute power to the sponsoring man and puts women in a weak position and this leads to her to take abuse. Ultimate power leads to corruption and abuse as Philip Zimbardo demonstrated in his Stanford Prison experiment. Maybe in case of abuse, they should deport the man and keep the woman!
21:35 February 17, 2011 by johnny1939
The Swedish men that get "Mail order brides" probably are inadequate in more than one way & think that things might be different w/ a non Swede. when they discover it is not they become angry & abusive.
21:48 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
Hey just kidding: I live in Duluth Minnesota and I don't know any man who has imported a woman. "mail order bride" It is not that common here but perhaps in other parts of the U.S. We have many young ladies of swedish/norwegian/ finnish heritage. Obesity is a real problem in the US and the people of the upper midwest are among the fatest. About 70% of the ladies are TOO fat for me! Perhaps swedish men should come here and take some home with them, maybe the friluftliv would motivate them to shed some pounds? Kanske de skulle vara Jätte snygg!
21:53 February 17, 2011 by Rishonim
The situation is simple: The majority of men are raised by women; consequently these women raise their little boy to grow up and become emasculated by other woman. In this case is a Swedish woman. Hence, in order for the poor weak Swedish man to feel complete, they go get some poor girl from Asia, bring them here and beat and abuse them. So what the government says? Oh, if you can withstand the daily beating for two years then maybe you can qualify for permanent residency. Mind you most people working at the immigration department in Sweden are women therefore they hate that their men run off and marry some Kila Tequila look alike
22:24 February 17, 2011 by dan_sparrow
@Rishonim, is Tila Tequila...

the problem is simple, women here have really bad behavior, thats why they go for a foreign girl instead,

swedish women are in general materialist, no money no honey, so ofcourse those guys are going to seek for other kind of love...
22:45 February 17, 2011 by buschmann
HEY DAN, I googled Miss Tequila. Is that an example of good behavior? She is a porn star! Are you sure swedish men are not just looking for a sex toy?
01:00 February 18, 2011 by matona1
they need more information on what can be done
01:07 February 18, 2011 by zircon
If I beat up my Swedish wife I will be courmarshalled by her two sons. And probably shot.
06:27 February 18, 2011 by rolfkrohna
This has nothing to do with abuse, but is in Asia a well know immigration scam and human trafficking. The woman or her parents or friends engage an agent, pay typically USD 50,000, the woman is trained to follow a well know patterns, then she is marketed on dating sites, and Swedish men are targeted. They become the unwitting and unknowing "mules" in a scam marriage to obtain PUT. When the trial period of two years is up, the woman provoke the men, or simply appear at women's refuges and claim to have been abused or used. Sometimes they even pay to get beaten up by third parties to create false evidence. That is why the women's refuges hear the same story over and over again. It is a pre prepared theatrical performance. A woman in ASIA ALWAYS want to go back to her family. The solution is to extend the trial period to ten years, and immediately send them home at any sight of this process. Countries as USA and Australia was previously targeted, but have now put restrictions in place to prevent the scam. Sweden should do that too. rolf.krohna@gmail.com in Hong Kong
06:59 February 18, 2011 by UScitizen
@ bow290

Are you an unhappy feminist? Sounds like you've had some bad relationships with your view of "a weak man who is too old, ugly, fat, poor or so on that has to take advantage of these poor women. "

And concerning your post on the Assange story:

U ned 2 lrn 2 spel. It r hrd fur us inglis sperkers to reed ur post.
07:56 February 18, 2011 by bolababu
some comments here are much more depressing than the original article. don't overlook the obvious, as smart as swedish men are, they also suffer from low self-esteem, most of them. swedish women are the bosses in this country and the men cower at their feet. the oppressed always at a point become the oppressor. i saw at least a couple of these abuses first hand and sadly it is true, some swedish men are twisted psychos with a demented sexual orientation.

when i first visited sweden, i couldn't help but wonder why most of the men wanted foreign women and the women wanted foreign men. i have seen enough now to understand that.
08:13 February 18, 2011 by technoviking
Given the number of ridiculously hot, educated women in Sweden I have no idea why importing them would be an attractive option...
09:48 February 18, 2011 by loudasthunder
I guess this has already been touched on, but yes, the Scandiavian men seem to be importing females because they can't get on with Scandinavian women. The Women here in Sweden will not put up with the Swedish mans BS, hence why most Swedish women possibly take an non-Swede.

It's umfortunate for the non-Swedish women, mostly asian, coming here just to get the sh_t-smacked. Also, there is serious abuse within the mulsim immigrants, as the men claim this is part of their 'peaceful' religious practice, huh...
10:29 February 18, 2011 by zircon
The battle of the sexes.
10:57 February 18, 2011 by 15U
I'm a woman from Russia, in Sweden just for work,

and I always know that I NEVER NEVER start to build my relationships with Swedish man, It seems They miss something important in their child education.. I like their style, look, but not their souls and men skills.

The same views have my Chinese, Colombian friends-girls who live in Sweden now.
11:16 February 18, 2011 by si
I am always amused by the occasionaly sighting of swede-thai couples in public, Conversation is usually carried through in brutal stumbling pigeon english - How on earth do they communicate properly?
11:50 February 18, 2011 by Babe Soderbom
There are two sides to a coin
12:58 February 18, 2011 by TheOriginalBlackMan
Most European men who look for girlfriends or wives that are not European ("white") fall into three categories:

1) Well off, confident, age mid-50's; has possibly never been married, looking for a woman with an actual body and darker skin (melanin); many of these men marry younger South American women or women from Russia. Dislikes the European female attitude

2) Average income, not so confident, possibly has been married a few times, looking for a meek woman who has been taught to idealize European culture; Asian woman (China, Taiwan, or Thailand )are his main target group, although he is know to search for Eastern Europeans also. The women these men select or make themselves available to them usually resemble men with hair, little sexual dimorphism is necessary.

3) European male loser in his own culture, age 30-60, possible pedophile, can not attract the average Swedish woman. This man preys on Asian woman who are possibly one decade out of prostitution or he may have bought her services in her home country and decided to bring her back to Sweden

Categories 2 and 3 are prominent in Sweden.

I also concur with some of the commenter's, that there are "många utländska Hallickar" (a lot of foreign Pimp's) in Sweden. For example... let's imagine a young, rich, lonely and sexually frustrated Swedish woman who travels to New York for companionship. She meets a young tall Black "player" who "turns her out" while she lives in New York. This same Black male then comes to Sweden after she pleads with him to live there with her; since he will not marry her so that she can become an American citizen. This same man after some years later marries a Black woman from America after he acquires dual citizenship.

Though most of the time the Swedish woman usually does not feel used, indeed, she is grateful for the experience. I still see this as a growing problem.
14:47 February 18, 2011 by buschmann
I can see know why sweden is going down the tubes. It is like one big Manson "charlie" hippy family from the 60's.
01:10 February 19, 2011 by marcelj
Read my lips. Men are from mars and woman are from venus. Read it and weep.
05:37 February 19, 2011 by Icarusty
Hasn't this always been the case? These men aren't your alpha male Adonis' in your native western countries... those ones CAN woo and treat a woman (of any race) right... and guess what, they picked a young white blonde hottie.

Even the beta males who accept that they are not the best catch "settle" with women in his own country more in his league, and generally they are happy and content.

Nope, these ones are the freaks, the social pariahs, outcasts, the old men who already have families, the perverts... they know that, as a white living in a western country, they have status. They know that non-whites want to have "western living standards", and the best way, short of being a highly skilled migrant (which is too costly for the vast majority of women from poor countries) is to marry one, have children so the country won't kick her out. These women are prepared to abandon their culture, their roots, their genetic identity even... just so they can live "like a westerner".

At the same time, aforementioned outcasts have heard about the stereotypes of women from abroad... exotic, passionate (South America), docile, demure and submissive (Far East), ladylike and "not affected by feminism" (Eastern Europe)... they will put these stereotypes into practice and exploit them, regardless of the truth, regardless of the fact that in the end of the day, they are still abusing a woman, a HUMAN BEING. But like I said before, they are freaks.
09:35 February 19, 2011 by J Jack
@ most of the comments: What a load of cods wallop! It's not the abuse that has increased, it's the the reporting of the abuse. This is something the community should be celebrating, not bitching and moaning about. As usual, some people will always make a negative issue about something that is going in a positive way. Civil servants, social workers and crisis managers have been trying for years to get abused Women to come out of the shadows and report it. It is the reporting that is the biggest step to getting help. So I say ["Reports of assault and sexual abuse from women who come to Sweden to be with Swedish men have become increasingly common"], is a good thing and that the Headline [Rise in abuse of foreign wives in Sweden], is a slight misleading.
10:49 February 19, 2011 by Commoner
The Swedish women have more of an attitude problem. The men here, whenever they are drunk will even BEG an old hag or a big chunk of meat for one night. In some countries, women who are too chubby or not so attractive do not get laid. But here in sweden, even the ugly ones got their share of ATTITUDE.

The men are generally much weaker when compared to the wekaer sex, which should be otherwise. They go for easy targets, girls from Asian countries (Sp. Thailand, Philipines etc.). Now these girls play according to the men for a few years, get beaten and most of these weak men get a chance to boast of their manhood by beating these girls. The swedish women would never bear like that. Instead, it is often the swedish women who bully most of the men.

I've seen even the good looking guys bring home a small, not so good looking asian girl. This is the only reason.

@ agree with J Jack.
13:10 February 19, 2011 by Icarusty
@J Jack

Hilarious, yet not unexpected... more like some (western men no doubt) spinning something EXTREMELY NEGATIVE - unless beating women is the ultimate dream in a relationship - into positive. Amazing how some could excuse beating up what is supposed to be your equal significant other.


You comment says everything about your attitudes towards the opposite sex - "men are generally weaker.... which should be otherwise"....why exactly??? You're too set in your chauvinistic ways.
15:37 February 19, 2011 by orangetree
But who are these women! In sweden, if there is a violence claim, they dont ask much. But we know in Asia the women around pubs and maffia are all setting games for these marriages. Mostly they pick the less unsocial, less clever ones. Maybe in some occasions, men are the victims of scam...
16:02 February 19, 2011 by buschmann
Swedish women won't take any abuse from swedish men, seems to be a common theme. Now Original blackman says, the swedish women come to New york ,hook up with a black man and are "turned out" prostituted. The bring the black guy back to sweden, support him for years , get dumped, but are very grateful for the expierence.Does that mean swedish women will tolerate an unlimited amount abuse from men that don't look like their brother or father? If this is a common state or fantasy of the swedish women, who could blame swedish men for looking elsewhere?
00:05 February 20, 2011 by Njal

Most black men who look for girlfriends or wives that are not African ("black") fall into three categories:

1) Well off, confident (having embezzled Western aid-funds from his failed African state gives one a sort of confidence), age mid-50's; has possibly never been married, looking for a woman with an actual body and lighter skin (melanin); many of these men marry younger white women or women from Russia. Dislikes the African female attitude

2) Average income (most of it honestly earned), not so confident, possibly has been married a few times (very likely indeed), cannot reliably attest to how many children he has fathered, looking for a meek woman who is incredibly shallow as those types are about all he could be reliably expected to attain based on his 'sub-saharan charm'; white women are his main target group, although he is know to search for Eastern Europeans also, as let's face it anywhere is better than Africa. The women these men select or make themselves available to them usually resemble men with hair, little sexual dimorphism is necessary (i.e. you only get the fat and ugly ones).

3) African male loser in his own culture, age 30-60, possible pedophile (most likely), can not attract the average African woman, cannot hold down the most menial of jobs. This man preys on white woman who are possibly one decade out of prostitution (or insanely desperate) or he may have deceived her as to his real intent (citizenship in any country that is not Africa), so he may acheive his aims while unsuspecting white woman remains ignorant.

categories 1,2 & 3 may be seen throughout the Western world.

For those of you who are wondering, theoriginalblackman, is an African intensely aware of the short-comings of people with the same melanin content as himself. And of how even when governed by their own, cannot accomplish any worthwhile society that does not resemble a 'war-zone'. It's because his 'lovely Ugandan wife' chucked him over for a more successful (at life) whiteman. The only way he has to deal with this is to be a hypocrite, and 'dress-down' the societies

that foolishly allowed him to partake as if he were actually Swedish,.... which of course is preposterous.
12:10 February 20, 2011 by Rebel
The irony is, same sex relationships have just as much abuse (gay and lesbian). As for Swedes in particular though, the typical Swede thinks they are culturally superior to all people on earth. The happiest marriages I have seen between Swedish women and American men are the ones where the American insists on raising the family in America -- this allows for a normal lifestyle without the pressures of the woman's all-knowing peers from looking down on the foreign spouse's culture (allows her to see that Americans are a far happier, active and accepting people as well). I would think that the best thing for a foreigner marrying a Swede to do is move the family away from Sweden.
15:43 February 20, 2011 by buschmann
Every sensible person knows that the "mail order bride" industry is a scam designed to target lonely vulnerable men. The women "mail order brides" are prostitutes. Apparently some devious swedish men are hip to this scam and have decided to turn the tables, "scam the scammer". What is meant by "subjects her to serious abuse"? That means he screws her 5 times a day. He wants to get the most BANG for his buck! Riksorganazation för kvinnojourer och tjejourer are part of the radical feminist lesbian movement. They are upset that these "mail order brides "are going to be all burnt out after two years, also they don't like swedish men circumventing middle men "pimps" like the originalblackman. The ROKS types who are being "turned out" by the black "players" from New York are losing money and feeling the pinch.
16:03 February 20, 2011 by Smartone
Dad: When are you getting married?

Son: I can't find a girl here

Dad: Why?

Son: Girls are too busy with girls

Dad: so any solution?

Son: A friend advised me to do the same as he did,

''Travel abroad and''Import a wife''

''Happy traveling and happy hunting''
17:35 February 20, 2011 by buschmann
@ Smartone, I live in northern Minnesota and have traveled extensively throughout the upper midwest region. This part of the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper peninsula of Michigan was heavily settled by scandinavian immigrants between 1850- 1910. We have many pleasant, attractive, straight, decent, kind hearted young ladies with traditional scandinavian sensabilities and sensitivities living here now. Should not swedish men begin there search here?? A swedish man would have no problem meeting ladies around here. They could live in this Lake Superior region and be happy, I'm sure!
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