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Justice or welfare? Nordic approaches to children exposed to violence in their family: Paper presented at the Annual conference of the Swedish Sociological Association, Uppsala, 5-6 March 2009.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2009 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although organisations working in the field of violence increasingly have come to share the understanding of children exposed to violence as “subjected to” violence and “crime victims”, there are also differences between organisations and the situation is not the same in all of the Nordic countries. The paper discusses approaches to children exposed to violence in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. It draws upon a study of a selection of children’s rights and women’s shelter organisations in these countries. The empirical material consists of documents from 10 organisations working at a national level and interviews with key persons from 8 of these organisations, in total 9 informants. The paper outlines the differences and similarities between different organisations and different countries when it comes to interpretative frames, organisational activities and strategies in relation to policy change, particularly as regards the criminalisation of children’s exposure to violence. It is argued that although it is possible to argue that a ‘justice discourse’ – where policy change is legitimised with reference to children’s rights to compensation and to holding perpetrators of crime accountable – to some extent shape approaches to children exposed to violence, criminalisation seems to primarily be used as a strategy to transform these children’s situation into a political (collective) problem, to enable protection and support. At present, a ‘welfare discourse’ thus seems to be dominating Nordic NGOs’ approaches to children exposed to violence.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-119686OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-119686DiVA: diva2:300653
Available from: 2010-02-27 Created: 2010-02-27 Last updated: 2010-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Maria
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