The Chilling Truth About Sweden’s Domestic Violence

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Sweden has long been a world leader in equality between the sexes. But while Swedish women enjoy more rights than most, nearly half will face physical or sexual violence, usually from a partner or family member.

Rosie Batty’s son Luke died at the hands of his father during cricket practice, and now she wants to understand why. Swedish citizens enjoy a healthy provision of rights and opportunities, but the country sees some of the highest levels of family violence in Europe. “It’s difficult to realise that in the beauty of these places there is also the real ugliness of the worst of human behavior”, she says. A sinister world of domestic violence exists behind closed doors. “I think the violence is very high here”, says Emanuel, who is himself an offender, “but you don’t speak about it in the streets”. In this highly personal journey, activists, victims and perpetrators discuss their experiences to find out what lies behind Sweden’s deceptively high levels of domestic violence, and why gender equality is just one part of a very complex problem.


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