What is violence?

Violence is when someone hurts you or someone else. There are many different ways to hurt someone, for example by:

O hitting
O kicking
O pushing
O shaking
O locking someone in
O throwing things at someone
O choking
O scaring
O threatening
O preventing someone from getting food or medicines
O constantly complaining about someone or calling them mean names
O destroying someone’s things
O hurting someone’s pets

The violence can be physical, such as punches or kicks to the body, or psychological, such as threats or calling someone names.

The violence can also be sexual. It can involve:

O someone doing something to your body that makes you feel uncomfortable
O someone threatening to perform sexual acts on you
O being forced to do something to someone else’s body that you do not want to do
O someone doing something to your body that you do not want them to do
O being forced to watch others have sex
O being forced to watch porn videos

Sometimes, a person can feel forced to have sex even without threats or violence. If one person has power over the other, then threats and violence are rarely needed. Having sex with someone under the age of 15 is always prohibited since a child does not have the maturity or ability to consent to sex. When between an adult and a child, it is wrong to even call it sex.

It can be hard to talk about sexual assault. Who can you tell? Where are the boundaries? Can people tell that you’ve been a victim of assault? If you would like to read more about what you can do (in Swedish), please visit www.dagsattprataom.se.

By law, using any type of violence against another person is not permitted. If this happens, call the police or tell another adult. For example, you could tell your teacher, a relative, or your school counsellor. It is important to not keep the violence a secret. No matter what you or another person has said or done, it is not OK to hurt you or that person. If you live in a family where violence is a part of your life, you have the right to get support and help – regardless of whether the victim of the violence is you or your mum. To learn more about what you can do to feel safe, please visit “What can you do to stay safe?”.