Det kunde ha varit värre - En studie om det psykiska våldets straffbarhet inom ramen för brotten grov fridskränkning och grov kvinnofridskränkning.
Sammanfattning: Domestic violence can occur in different types of relationships and follows the same pattern regardless of the parties' sexuality or inherent power relationship. The violence can be physical, mental or sexual. It is through a constant shift between violence and warmth that the actions are normalized in the relationship, the normalization process. The victim adapts to the perpetrator to avoid more violence. The boundaries of what is normal in a relationship shift, which means that the violence gradually worsens. Victims of domestic violence describe the vulnerability to mental violence as "it could have been worse". Based on knowledge and research of domestic violence, we know that it is the mental violence that destroys the victim’s self-esteem and self-confidence which decreases the likelihood of the victim to come forward and leave the relationship. For domestic violence to be criminal it is required that the perpetrator has committed criminal acts listed in the law against domestic violence. Given that the deeds have been part of a repeated violation of the person's integrity and have been capable of damaging the person's self-esteem. Thus, a prerequisite is that the criminal acts criminalize the psychological violence perpetrated in domestic violence, which the acts to some extent does. But the very behavior to control and isolate the victim is not punishable by any criminal acts. Instead, consideration of controlling behavior is possible in assessing whether acts have been committed to injure the victim’s self-esteem. But for such consideration to be possible, it is necessary that the criminal acts are substantiated and of a certain seriousness. By not criminalizing the psychological violence committed in close relation, the criminal law reproduces a notion that the violence is not punishable, "it could have been worse". Similarly, criminal law, both in theory and practice, reproduces stereotypes about who is the victim of domestic violence.
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