Tal av Åsa Regnér om våldsprevention vid Université du Luxembourg

Jämställdhetsminister Åsa Regnér höll tal om Sveriges förebyggande arbete mot mäns våld mot kvinnor vid Université du Luxembourg, 17 oktober 2016.

Det talande ordet gäller.

I am very happy to have this opportunity to speak about violence prevention and to hear about your work here in Luxembourg. Later today I will attend the 3rd International Conference on Men and Equal Opportunities. In Sweden questions of men and gender equality, or equal opportunities, is a priority for the government and one area of specific importance is gender based violence.

The Swedish government is preparing a national long-term strategy to prevent and combat men's violence against women to be decided later in the autumn of 2016. The strategy includes actions against domestic violence, honour related violence, and actions against prostitution and trafficking for sexual purposes.

The national strategy aims to improve the coordination of work to prevent and combat men's violence towards women within all relevant sectors. A large number of actions are being prepared within the framework of the new national strategy, for example new legislation to better protect children who are exposed or subjected to violence in intimate relationships, new commissions for government agencies concerning methods of identifying violence, risk and needs assessments , funding of NGO:s and government inquiries into specific issues. The target group for the strategy is decision-makers and professionals at all levels witin all sectors as well as the general public.

Violence prevention will be highlighted troughout the strategy. Specific focus will be on universal violence prevention targeting stereotypical norms of masculinity as a cause of violence. This is something that the Swedish NGO Men for Gengder Equality (MFJ) is working with and I am glad that they are here today and soon will give a brief presentation of their work.

I strongly believe that to end violence we need a wide and constructive engagement of men and boys, as well as a confrontation with norms of masculinity that justify violence and limit women and girls' possibilities and choices in life.

An objective within the strategy is for our youth to be reached by work done on violence prevention. And in our new strategy we aim to reach all young people in Sweden. Schools and universities are central arenas for this task. Work to prevent violence also involves efforts within the correctional system and other fields of crime prevention. There already exists work in these areas in Sweden and new actions will also be taken in our new strategy. I am therefore also very interested in hearing about the experiences of working with men to prevent domestic violence here in Luxembourg.

In the area of men's violence against women, a priority in the work against prostitution is the work against the demand for purchasing sex.

Persons in prostitution must never be punished. The reasons for people being involved in prostitution may vary but is often related to poverty and/or that the person has been exposed to sexual assaults or other forms of sexual violence earlier in life. It must also be easy for persons in prostitution to seek help from police and social services and or voluntary support services that could help sellers to leave prostitution.

The best way to counter demand is through criminalizing the purchase of sexual services. Our assessment of the prohibition of the purchase of sexual services law shows that street prostitution has been reduced with 50 percent since the prohibition came in to force and there has not been an increase of the Internet based prostitution in comparison with other countries. The assessment also shows that the prohibition has been as powerful tool in shifting people's attitudes toward prostitution. Surveys both in Sweden and Norway shows that attitudes shift where the purchase of sex is criminalized, and a consistent majority in Sweden, over 70% of the population, think purchasing of sex is unacceptable.

From our view, it is crystal clear who to blame for prostitution, which is the buyer, and who should be prohibited from buying the body of another human being with the intent to use hers or his body for sexual purposes.

Thank you.