The project “In joint organization against relational violence”, IGOR, is a collaboration between the police and the social service in Södermalm in Stockholm, which works together against men’s violence against women. A project described as successful.
But the Police Agency announced on Friday that the celebrated project is being closed, reports The evening paper. A decision that met with strong criticism from, among others, the National Organization for Women’s Shelters and Girls’ Shelters in Sweden, Roks, which rages against the closure.
“Roks rages. Enough now! Enough with the mainstreaming of an issue that needs special investments, own funds and clear, purposeful governance. Enough with gender neutrality and burying men’s violence against women in the public systems. Roks demands that society builds on businesses that work. Unite yourselves! Protest against the closure,” the organization writes in a post on Instagram.
The Member of Parliament critical
The announcement came as a shock to Riksdag member Helena Vilhelmsson, the Center Party’s equality policy spokesperson, who herself had been involved in the project.
– I actually think it’s a disaster. When we know that we have a business that worked so well and gave such good results. The signal you are sending out is very serious, says member of parliament, Helena Vilhelmsson (C), who points out that the number of women killed in close relationships has increased significantly in 2023.
– An activity like this must be expanded and resources must be invested to expand it to the entire country instead of actually reducing resources, she continues.
Previous evaluations have shown that the project, which started in April 2021, was successful. The work has mainly consisted of scouting and mapping violent men, but also working with preventive measures by offering support and treatment with the aim of getting the men to stop using violence.
Among other things, the group has succeeded in helping abused women to leave relationships and have a tolerable life even after a separation.
– This is serious for the women in Södermalm, and for the women around the country who were involved in this project and do not get access to this successful business.
– In the long run, it can lead to more women being abused and more women dying.
Dialogue with the government
As a politician, Vilhelmsson (C) cannot control the Police Authority’s budget, but believes that the government is responsible for ensuring that the authority works effectively to stop men’s violence against women.
She intends to ask the government the question of how they intend to work with a similar and functioning business in the future, she says.
Vilhelmsson (C) will also hold a dialogue with the Police Authority about the closure.
– We have the opportunity to hold a dialogue with the police in what is called the transparency council, which we will of course do. There they have a chance to explain how they thought.
Member of Parliament Vilhelmsson (C) adds that the violence that affects women in the home does not receive as much attention as gang violence.
– The violence against women is not as important as murders in the open street that are carried out in gang criminal circles. There are many who feel disappointed from that point of view, she says.