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'Women to blame if they suffer abuse': study

The Local/dl · 12 Dec 2011, 09:00

Published: 12 Dec 2011 09:00 GMT+01:00

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The study, in which staff at Stockholm South General Hospital (Södersjukhuset) participated, also found that one in ten emergency room staffers don't believe healthcare workers have a responsibility to investigate how a woman's injuries occurred.

“The study shows that we still have a lot of work to do in terms of people's attitudes,” Maaret Castrén, a professor in emergency medicine who works with clinical research and training at Stockholm South General, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Every year, between 15 and 20 women are killed by their partners in Sweden and roughly half of those victims had sought care in the Swedish health system for previous abuse.

In Sweden, hospital emergency rooms are often the first – and sometimes only – point of contact for abused women in the Swedish healthcare system, according to SR.

But a new study, which included responses from 217 emergency room workers, most of whom work at Stockholm South General Hospital, has raised concerns about how healthcare workers view female abuse victims and the role the workers play in supporting them.

“I was somewhat surprised that it's still considered not to be our job to investigate the cause of women's injuries and that people still think that women's behaviour in some way gives a man the right to hit them,” Castrén told SR.

According to Castrén, there isn't enough emphasis placed on the issue, either during on-the-job training at the hospital, or in basic medical education.

Professor Gun Heimer, head of the Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence Against Women (Nationellt centrum för kvinnofrid – NCK) at Uppsala University, told SR that the study is in line with results from studies conducted in other countries.

Story continues below…

She added, however, that Sweden should have come farther than other countries in training healthcare workers about violence against women and that the results of the study shows the need for additional measures.

“What's important with the study is that the results are highlighted and we can see that this is how things are and now we have to be better,” she told SR.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:30 December 12, 2011 by Kevin Harris
There is actually a tax payer funded organisation called the Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence Against Women!

I am sure it is unbiased and balanced, staffed by reasonable, open-minded people. But with a name like that, who would believe it?
10:00 December 12, 2011 by DAVID T
I wonder if they have a tax payer funded organisation Centre for Knowledge on Women's Violence Against Men?

All things being equal
10:34 December 12, 2011 by abaeterno
@David T. Come on dude. think about your comments.

This is a worrying report because of the lack of understanding from the staff who had been questioned on this subject. Both the victim and the aggressor need to be given some kind of support. The women can surely learn how not to enter into a violent relationship and if they 'find' themselves in a relationship with a violent partner, then they should be given the help needed to LEARN how to walk away from, and NOT to walk into, an abusive partnership.

For the violent partner a short sharp shock may work. Should we sent them off to fight in a war as punishment?

It is questionable who should pay for helping victms of domestic vioilence. My personal opinioins are that the aggressor should pay all the cost.

on a slightly different note: It is very patronising and insulting to the rest of the world that "Gun Heimer, head of the Centre for Knowledge on Men's Violence Against Women" thinks that "Sweden should have come farther than other countries in training healthcare workers about violence against women "

Why should sweden be 'farther' than other countries.

Peace. Love and Happiness
10:34 December 12, 2011 by jwlundgren
EXCUSE ME???? so much for "progressive" sweden.
10:36 December 12, 2011 by cowboykodp
These "hospital staff" are usually the same kind of people who take care of the elderly in old folks homes which have been in the news recently with all the abuses.

Usually uneducated, and their only choice for employment.
10:56 December 12, 2011 by RobinHood

Emergency room staff in Sweden (the subjects of this survey) are highly qualified and dedicated doctors and nurses, who rarely take care of the elderly in care homes and, because of their expertise, can usually find employment elsewhere if they want it.

Perhaps things are different where you come from.
11:25 December 12, 2011 by Puffin
@Kevin Harris

By "tax payer funded organisation" - you mean the domestic violence research institute at one of Sweden's leading Universities??

@David T.

So are you planning to set up one? It is a shame that men seem less interested in researching violence against men in relationships but there again there are so few "men's issue researchers" in Sweden - men just don't seem interested otherwise someone would carry out research on this issue


Where on earth do you live where Emergency rooms/A&E departments are staffed by untrained care assistants??

We are talking about highly trained doctors and nurses - however this may be a part of the problem that these highly skilled medical staff perceive their roles in stricly medical terms and rightly or wrongly don't see their roles of being counsellors and social workers when they have 5 hour waiting times for emergency care - they probably assume that the women would call a domestic abuse line
11:29 December 12, 2011 by shozea
So Womens are the cause of any problem they aggravated the problem and make trouble. Men always peace full
12:09 December 12, 2011 by cogito
Sweden has always been, and remains, a dangerous place for women.
13:32 December 12, 2011 by flintis
I am suprised by the result, women may often be the antagonist but that does not excuse violence.
13:58 December 12, 2011 by chantal11
...told SR that the study is in line with results from studies conducted in other countries...

are you kidding me?? This is disgusting! All the equality this country tries to portray is absolute BS>

Sorry Socialist government- the 2 year maternity leave does not make up for lack of respect for women!
14:27 December 12, 2011 by cowboykodp
From my reading of the article, they are not referring to nurses and doctors, but the peripheral staff.

I guess if they meant doctors and nurses, they would have said doctors and nurses.
15:42 December 12, 2011 by mehboob_umt
A man who treats his woman like a PRINCESS proves that he has been born and raised in the arms of a QUEEN.
16:32 December 12, 2011 by spo10
So if a woman comes in with bruises, the hospital staff won't ask anything about it but if it's a man then it's their business?
17:37 December 12, 2011 by ironman294
Isn't Sweden a progressive country concerning gender?

Let's see teachers push 11 yr olds to sue Toyrs R Us for pushing an advert with boys playing with guns and trucks and girls with dols as sexist.

Yet Swedes think an abused women is at fault and rapists getting only a year at best or just a fine.

Plus an adlt having sex with a 15 yr old is legally fine.

Some progression? Backwards is more like it.
18:04 December 12, 2011 by swedejane
Q: What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?

A: Nothing she hasn't already been told twice.

18:06 December 12, 2011 by Rand84
Women generally ARE to blame if they suffer abuse. Do their homes not have front doors? Do they know how to use one? Do they want to use one? Women have to respect a man before they'll be in a relationship. Many abuse victims simply won't respect a man that doesn't abuse them somehow. I'm not saying violence against women is justified. The article pointed out that HALF of the women who were killed by their partners had sought health care in the Swedish system for previous abuse. I'd be willing to bet most of the other half had been abused, just never got treatment.

You can support women all you want, but I think a lot of the women that you convince to leave abusive relationships go back into the dating scene rejecting all the nice guys they don't respect, ultimately finding their next abuser.
18:23 December 12, 2011 by GLO
The first time a woman is hit should be the LAST. It wont get better!!!!
20:49 December 12, 2011 by Vill
I hate to inform all you male-bashers, but women abuse men too. Furthermore, women abuse other women. These surveys are ridiculous.
23:16 December 12, 2011 by J Jack
as for the comments about hospital staff being uneducated .. this goes for the whole work sector .. education only really begins for the educated after graduation from school which is awarded to everyone even if they don't pass any tests.
23:18 December 12, 2011 by tnmccoy
Seems like there are a number of Swedes ready for brain transplants. Women and Men are inherently frustrating and aggravating to others at times. I've had my times, but I was brought up never to hit a women. That is part of the last vestiges of honour and valour towards women by men. They don't ever deserve to be abused, just as they don't deserve to be raped. Granted, women should leave at the first sign of abuse, but I know how difficult it can be. They deserve quick and lasting help from the authorities and swift justice against the abuser. But like most on the left, the Socialist Swede apparently blames the victim.
23:22 December 12, 2011 by star10
The problem is that women have more abusive ability when it comes to non-physical attacks (like insults). A man cannot handle verbal attacks as do women, but he may get emotionally hurt. Women's verbal attack could be more painful than physical one for men. A slap on the face may not hurt as much as a bad insult. But the first one is considered as violence while the latter one is not a big deal, relatively. But emotionally, it can be more painful.
00:52 December 13, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
You can never blame a woman for being abused, but you can certainly blame women who insist on staying in abusive relationships. I don't understand why some women will stay with violent men rather than just leave. I don't believe the argument that its because they are afraid to leave. Its much deeper than that.
01:54 December 13, 2011 by Lovelygirl
I'm not surprised at all about the lack of common sense in an emergency room, considering how mediocre is the (average) health care service here in Sweden... It doesn't really matter which is the reason of the problem (this time they happened to make a "study" about this, but I'm sure that many other studies will have awkward results too)
06:01 December 13, 2011 by Da Goat
I am thinking instead of castigating the emergency workers they should be taking notice seeing as they are on the pointy end,

I am thinking the people being attacked here are the ones that know what they are talking about, as women are just as violent as men (maybe more stealthy) and maybe they are onto something some women do deserve what they get!
10:05 December 13, 2011 by yourkidding
Yep! This for sure sounds EXACTLY like a Swedish study.....too much inbreeeding in Sverige methinks.
12:39 December 14, 2011 by Uriel9
#17 Rand84 is exactly right. I've seen that happen many times.

Those guys are douchebags, but some women are only attracted to douchebags
13:57 December 14, 2011 by rumcajs
I have a 1.65 m tall friend who was being slauthered by his girl. All of a sudden he hit her and when the cops came, they found a guy with brocken ribs, nose and all covered in blood..... and a girl almost twice his size with A bruice. Guess who got arested!!!
22:03 December 20, 2011 by shiraz
Women can be abusive but we have to end this expectation that people have to get married or remain married. We should provide people with freedom to leave an abusive situation. Infact independent living ought to be encouraged.
02:07 December 21, 2011 by swekiwi
You ignorant trolls make me sick and embarrassed to be a man. Its just pathetic that some of you think its the women fault. My god, grow a brain your morons. Seriously. Man hits women = women's fault? Faulty logic and unplugged brain stem. Idiots.
17:52 December 26, 2011 by t64
Why is it that I can spot a bad man in five minutes conversation but certain women can't and fall in love with them. Yes the abusive man is at fault but so is the silly woman who associates with him. If one of my friends were to beat me up, he would no longer be my friend. Aren't men and women in Sweden supposed to be identical?
03:38 December 27, 2011 by johnoleson
Boyfriend or husband beats up woman. I intercede. I have both man and woman against me because I interfered with true love. The reason so many consider it the woman's fault is because to solve the problem she has to want to separate and stay separated from the man to solve the problem. Or of course in Sweden we could have two police officers live in the home with the quarreling couple to constantly intercede. Would this be called an alternate lifestyle?
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