Archive for May 29th, 2007
Now we were talking about psychiatrists …(coughs)…
Story in Danish. Sorry.
Today brought this piece of news about female murder victims in Sweden: According to a report published by BRÅ, the National Council for Crime Prevention, one in three victims of deadly assault is a woman and every second female victim is killed by a spouse or regular partner.
This is not surprising: Epidemiologists have for a long time told us that marriage is good for men’s health, while criminologists and (quite a few feminists) have told us that it is bad for women’s health.
A little surprising – at least if you believe everything they write in the newspapers – is that the frequency of deadly assaults in Sweden has been in decline since the 1970s.
But the report’s main findings are on the one hand not really surprising (at least not if you are a Danish man and not a Swedish radical feminist) and on the other hand deeply disturbing.
First, the typical assailant is not only a man but also the woman’s present or former partner (former partners are especially deadly). Well, duh.
Second, the typical assailant is not a typical man (some Swedish women will find this surprising): He has a history of violence and crime, and is likely to suffer from some kind of mental distorder – depression (yes, depression can often trigger violence) or some kind of psychosis. He is also frequently socially marginalised though lack of education, unemployment and so on.
Finally, deadly assaults often do not come out of the blue – there is a history of violence and abuse against the woman in the relationship.
The disturbing point is of cause that many murders could be prevented if it was possible to screen potential assailants more effectively – police, hospitals and psychiatry (the questionable quality of the treatment of people with mental disorders is an issue which reemerges all to often in Swedish debate) have a large role to play here. Much work has been made but obviously more will be necessary.
And Danish police unfortunately have lessons to learn: I recall hearing a truly embarrassing interview as late as last year with a Danish police officer who couldn’t see any problems with women withdrawing reports against their partners.
What about the social issue, then? One explanation could be that social marginalisation is an effect of the same factors which lead to abuse and murder. Feel free to call me an eternal child of the 1970s, but mental disorders should be acknowledged as a major hazard in peoples’ lives which individuals cannot control.
Another explanation to the variations in violent behaviour could be that middle- and upper-class men have more instruments at their disposal to regain their social standing and disturb the lives of their ex-wives. A good divorce lawyer can (at least in the imagination of the ex-husband) do more harm than a knife.
The full report is here.
Oh, and what made me write the post was this: dr.dk published a story about the report with this headline – Swedish wife-killers are mentally ill. Are there any reasons to believe that Sweden and Denmark are that different in this aspect?
Okay: According to Politiken (dare I still trust that paper?), Naser Khader now publicly states that he did discuss a possible defection from the Liberals to Ny Alliance with Eyvind Vesselbo.
Topic for discussion: If we assume that Khader – or someone very close to him – is the source for Politiken’s original story, why would Khader take the risk of announcing a defection which wasn’t already completed?
In politics, these things work by the surprise effect: Call a press meeting, appear with Mr. X at the meeting and announce the facts of life. This smells of incompetent handling of both Mr. Vesselbo and the media. And Vesselbo will not be an easy person to deal with for Ny Alliance in the future.
Båda tidningarna utnyttjade den unika svenska offentlighetsprincipen i sitt arbete, liksom tryckfrihetsförordningens mycket liberala pressregler. Men de gjorde det inte för att granska den offentliga eller privata makten utan för att sprida personuppg
Nästan alla män som mördar sin kvinnliga partner är psykiskt sjuka. Det visar en ny undersökning från brottsförebyggande rådet, BRÅ.
We shall see how it all ends, but today Liberal MP Eyvind Vesselbo denies that he has any plans to defect to Ny Alliance.
In Berlingske Tidende, this becomes:
Vesselbo denies defection
In Politiken – the paper which originally broke the story – the headline is:
Right. Yes. In this case, it would be nice to know who the sources for the story are, but they won’t be coming forward for obvious reasons.
I have no insider knowledge about this – I’m just amused about the way different papers report the story.
This could be interesting:
Politiken: Eyvind Vesselbo to join Ny Alliance. (Vesselbo is a slightly maverick Liberal MP with immigration and environmental policy as his main trademarks)
At the same time, Berlingske Tidende continues the demolition of Marianne Jelved:
Berlingske: Jelved to leave during the summer.
Berlingske: The centre is melting. (Thomas Larsen also attempts to demolish the Christian Democrats in the same article – they are at around 1% in opinion polls so you’re forgiven if you haven’t thought about them recently)
What a summer this could be.