“This is completely absurd. The woman was concerned for her children’s safety and this is how it’s turned out. It’s a tragedy,” children’s rights advocate Monica Dahlström-Lannes told The Local.
The woman at the heart of the case, which was first reported by the Aftonbladet newspaper, separated from the children’s father in the summer of 2008.
Since then, the couple shared custody of the two children, a four-year-old son and five-year-old daughter.
Last year, however, the children started acting in a sexually suggestive manner, prompting the woman to suspect that they may have been sexually abused by their father.
While she reported the matter to police, the investigation was dropped due to lack of evidence.
“That’s when my lawyer advised me to film the children, in order to show the police how they were behaving,” the concerned mother told Aftonbladet.
The mother filmed the children when they were taking a bath and then showed the movie to officials from the local social services department (socialförvaltningen) before handing it to the police.
The next day she was arrested on suspicion of child pornography.
After spending a day behind bars and losing custody of her children, the woman was released.
Prosecutor Christel Anderberg argued she was in the right to film the children in order to collect evidence against the father.
But the decision to drop the investigation was appealed by the social services office, which argued that the woman has exposed her children for serious psychological abuse when filming them.
“It hasn’t been confirmed that the children have been sexually abused by their father, but to let the children continue with what they were doing in the tub is abuse,” the investigators concluded, according to Aftonbladet.
Following a district court ruling stripping the woman of custody, the children are now living with their father.
“The mother is of course very upset,” said Dahlström-Lannes, who is also former cop who specialised in investigating crimes against children.
“I’’e been working with cases like this for 25 years and it’s just getting worse.”
She said the children’s behaviour and actions “should be taken seriously” and has since reported the social services department to Sweden’s Ombudsmen for Justice (Justitieombudsmännen- JO).
“It’s like the social welfare services have stopped listening to the children,” said Dahlström-Lannes.
“It’s really upsetting.”