The Emergence of Crime Victims as a Target Group in the Swedish Social Services Act
2010 (English)In: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, ISSN 1404-3858, Vol. 11, no 2, 170-188 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article examines the political motives behind the introduction of crime victim support provisions in the Swedish Social Services Act. The findings derive from a case study of the preparatory material that prefaced the legal changes that were adopted in 2001. The result shows that the explicit purpose of the provisions was to consider measures to improve the support to crime victims. To some degree the provisions can also be explained by symbolic factors. In fact, most actors in the law-making process indicate that their motives were communicative and symbolic. Support to crime victims was presumably a complicated issue for the social democratic government. Because of the economical crisis in the early 1990s, there was no scope for reforms that implied high increased costs. Yet expanding the crime victim's rights in relation to the offender, such as toughening the penal law and promoting victim impact statements, was not in line with social democratic ideology. By enacting the provisions in the Social Services Act the government demonstrated that support to crime victims was an important area of concern. At the same time, the provisions did not involve any increased costs or strengthen the crime victim's rights in relation to the offender. In this way, the provisions became a mediator that solved a difficult political dilemma for the government.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 11, no 2, 170-188 p.
crime victim, Social Services Act, social welfare law, social work, symbolic politics, violence against women
Social Work Law and Society Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject Social Work; Pathology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-47046DOI: 10.1080/14043858.2010.523556OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-47046DiVA: diva2:372765