Voldsutsatte kvinner og deres erfaringer med politiet
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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In this article abused women from five Norwegian shelters reveal their experiences with the police. Employees at the shelters will also tell about the police work from their point of view. The central obstacle between the women and the police lies in the very nature of the criminal law, at least how the police perceive the law, and the complex story the women wish to report. The police seem to be mainly interested in some few facts regarding the history of abuse, like when and how the women were physically beaten. These facts often represent less significant parts of the women`s story. Hence it follows that the mental abuse, which has recently been criminalized in Norway, is not properly included – neither in the police interview nor in the police report. Some of the informants mentioned also lack of continuity in their contact with the police. One of them had to meet 4-5 different police officers during the long way to trial. Because she had to keep repeating her story, even to several other agencies, in the end she talked about the severe abuse she had been through without showing any feelings. It has been documented that the way in which these women express their tragedy has significant impact on their credibility. Another common problem which occupies their stories is the time consuming process from the first police interview until the police reach a conclusion. Some had to wait up till two years before the case was brought to trial or dismissed. The informants have rather different and contradictory feelings about the legal sanctions against their former partner.