Today it’s November 25th, the UN’s international day against men’s violence against women. It’s tragic that such a day should be needed, and we must never forget that this isn’t a phenomenon that only should be dealt with one day a year. According to the WHO this kind of violence is a profound global problem. On November 25th 2009 I held a speech at Gustav Adolf Square here in Malmoe, and I will here qoute a few paragraphs:
“Every 20th minute a woman somewhere in Sweden is beaten. Consider that!! Every 20th minute! Every single case of violence against women here in Sweden cost the society millions of SKR. We can’t afford NOT to do something about it. Firstly we have the unaccountable psychological and physical suffering for every individual, which can’t be estimated to a sum of money. It concerns every single woman, irrespective of age or background, but also her loved ones and other people in her vicinity. Apart from the unfathomable suffering there are the more specific costs for medical treatment, medicines, maybe therapy, police, courts and jail. There’s also the indirect costs for not being able to work for the victimized women when they are ill, imprisonment for the culprit, as well as insomnia, tiredness and a lowered productivity for the abused woman.
In 90% of the cases men are guilty, often someone close to the woman, and in almost all the cases alcohol has been an important, contributing factor to this violence. The alcohol affects our senses, and especially if we drink a lot. Many who think they can handle their drinking, can’t do that. This goes both for men and women. Threatened male dominance, exaggerated macho ideals are also very important contributing factors when men abuse, harrass and kill women. Last year in 2008 28 300 cases of woman battering were reported to the police in our country, ca 80 cases each day. Furthermore, here in Sweden about 1 – 2 women each month are killed by a partner or ex partner”.
This was some of the things I said three years ago. The numbers given here above are almost identical compared to the most recent statistics from 2011. Then it was 28 000 reports. The number of reports though has risen from 22 000 in 2002 to about 28 000 in 2011. These are the figures for my country, and I suggest that if you live outside Sweden you ought to check out the UN figures or what the WHO has to say about it. What can we do about it? I am a man, and I think that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent these crimes.From a Swedish perspective and a local perspective I can give you some addresses if you ned help:
These are important issues. We all have to take a stand. We can’t take individual responsibility for every case, but we can do our own part in not abusing women. I know I will, I hope you will too.
Anders Moberg, November 25th 2012