Intimate Partner Violence in Nordic Rural Areas

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one of the most common types of violence targeting women around the world, where one of three women have experienced such violence. The prevalence of IPV can also vary within a country based on population density, where rates in rural communities have been found to be similar to or greater than those in urban communities, specifically for severe and fatal IPV.  

Policing IPV is a difficult task per se, in urban areas due to heavy workload with many cases and in rural areas due to long distances, being few police officers, and having fewer resources in general to rely upon (i.e. health care and social service institutions). In rural areas this is a challenge for the police, since they most often lack police officers specialised on IPV and needs to rely upon other agencies that also have limited resources. Other problems that occur in rural policing of IPV are; victims do not report crimes to the same extent as in urban areas, when they do report, the IPV is more severe than in urban areas, and since only three of five victims cooperate in the recommended safety planning we do not know if the risk management in itself actually works, or if there are other factors that interfere with the safety planning. 

The feminist criminology approach argue that the patriarchal structures are more solid in rural areas maintaining attitudes and norms that enable IPV and complicates support for victims. It also complicates reporting the violence to the police.  One possible explanation could be found within the critical criminology with the perspective of rural patriarchy. This will further be discussed at the session with results from a longitudinal Swedish research project concerning policing IPV in rural and remote areas. 


Susanne Strand is an Associate Professor of Criminology at Örebro University, Sweden. She is research leader for the Centre of Violence Studies (CVS) and the research group Stalking and Partner Violence - SToP. She is also an adjunct at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science (CFBS) at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She researches risks and risk management of violence in different contexts, with the applied criminology as the academic base. The research is to a large extent conducted in collaboration with practitioners working with victims of violence. Gender is one focus of her studies, meaning both women and men are studied from the perspectives of victims as well as perpetrators. The focus of her current research is risk assessment and risk management concerning intimate partner violence and stalking, where the longitudinal research program RISKSAM (2019-2025) aiming to increase risk management for victims, is conducted in collaboration with the police and the social service. 

Sofia Strid is Associate Professor in Gender Studies, Örebro University, Sweden. She is Research Leader at the Centre of Violence Studies and Co-Director of the GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies. She works across multiple disciplines and has held positions in Gender Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and in Comparative Inequality Issues in Austria, Belgium, Sweden, and the UK. Strid has worked extensively on theorizing, measuring and combating gendered and intersectional violence, most recently as Scientific Coordinator of the EUH2020-funded programs UniSAFE: Gender-based violence and institutional responses (2021-2024) and RESISTIRÉ (2021-2023); and As PI of the VR-funded Violence Regimes (2018-2021). Some recent publications on violence include: “States of violence” (Journal of European Social Policy, 2021); “Undoing the Nordic ‘paradox’” (PLOS ONE, 2021), and “From gender regimes to violence regimes” (Social Politics, 2020). She is the co-author of The Concept and Measurement of Violence against Women and Men (Polity 2017). 

Joakim Petersson, Ph D, is a Senior lecturer in criminology in the School of Law, Psychology and Social work at Örebro University in Sweden. His research interests include risk assessment and management of intimate partner violence (IPV). He defended his doctoral thesis “Identifying risk for recidivism among partner violent men reported to the Swedish police” in 2020. He is specifically focusing his research on IPV perpetrators and their heterogeneity, as well as studied IPV from a victim vulnerability perspective and a rurality perspective. Joakim is currently involved in a six-year (2019-2025) research project funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, to improve the collaboration between the Swedish police and social services in risk management of intimate partner violence and stalking. His research is associated with the Stalking and Partner Violence (SToP) research group (Örebro University), the Centre for Violence Studies (CVS), both at Örebro University. 

Published Sep. 20, 2021 2:02 PM - Last modified Sep. 21, 2021 2:57 PM