There are over 4000 children and young people living with a protected identity in Sweden. Many have experienced violence or threats either directly against them or against someone in their family. Protected identity is intended to help children and young people who had experienced violence and threats feel safe and secure that they will not have to experience it again.
There are three types of protected identity. Which type is applied depends on how dangerous the situation is and how much protection is needed.
It may feel tough and complicated to have a protected identity. It may be more difficult to join recreational activities, participate in social media or get a library card. You might need to be constantly on guard about what you tell and don’t tell your friends. Some children and young people feel alone. Some find it hard not to be able to tell people everything or be honest.
Children with a protected identity sometimes feel like adults don’t understand why they have a protected identity and don’t know what to do. Sometimes, it is the child who ends up taking the greatest responsibility for ensuring their identity remains protected. That’s not the way it should be. Adults should be helping and supporting the child, making sure they are safe and that the protection is working.
If you would like to know more about protected identity and what other children and young people think about it, you can visit the I WANT TO KNOW website JAG VILL VETA, created by the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority.