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Barn som bevittnar våld i nära relationer

Alfredsson, Linn LU (2013) LAGF03 20131
Department of Law
Abstract
A child, who witness an act of violence towards it's immediate family, is not considered to be victim of any criminal offence according to Swedish law. The most relevant provision is Chapter 29 § 2 8p. of the Swedish Penal Code. The provision state that a child, who witness a violent action, is merely considered to be an aggravating circumstance to a principal offense, such as battery or harassment. The key issue being, that the perpetrator has not committed the criminal action directly against the child, subsequently can there be no presumption that the offender had the intention to harm the child. This essay addresses the matter, whether a distinction regarding different penalty provisions, where a child who witness domestic violence,... (More)
A child, who witness an act of violence towards it's immediate family, is not considered to be victim of any criminal offence according to Swedish law. The most relevant provision is Chapter 29 § 2 8p. of the Swedish Penal Code. The provision state that a child, who witness a violent action, is merely considered to be an aggravating circumstance to a principal offense, such as battery or harassment. The key issue being, that the perpetrator has not committed the criminal action directly against the child, subsequently can there be no presumption that the offender had the intention to harm the child. This essay addresses the matter, whether a distinction regarding different penalty provisions, where a child who witness domestic violence, constitutes an independent criminal offence which is aimed directly towards the child. This suggested reform would result in a reinforcement of the protection of children. In addition, the reform would ensure that Sweden fulfilled it's obligations under Article 19 of the UNCRC, which states the international protection standards concerning the subject matter.

Some scholars argue for a criminalization of such actions, with reference to the perspective of the child. Children are considered in preliminary legislative work to be a particular vulnerable and defenseless group in society, which amounts to that more severe punishment should follow a criminal action which is carried out in the presence of a child. The mental abuse the child is exposed to in these situations is difficult to interpret into or take regard to, in the existing provisions of the Swedish Criminal Code. From a society perspective and by case law, the essay highlights the practical issues, which would arise from an introduction and an expansion of the relevant criminal provisions.

Thirdly, in order to broaden the scope of the essay, a comparison has been made between Swedish law, Nordic and international law relating to domestic violence directed against children. For example New Zealand has introduced a special Act which distinguishes children from adult victims, hence, resulting in that the protection of the child is regarded to a greater extent than in Sweden. The relevant foreign terms are explained and analysed, based on how they would have been interpreted in Swedish case law and judicial doctrine.

The position in Swedish law, concerning cases where children witness violence within their immediate family is unclear. However, some actors within the community argue for that further action should be taken. In theory criminalization of such behavior in relation to the child, is an excellent idea. However, the execution of such a reform would constitute some practical issues. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Barns bevittnande av ett våldsamt agerande mot närstående är idag inte en kriminaliserad handling i svensk rätt. Idag regleras detta i 29 kap. 2 § 8 p. BrB, där barns bevittnande anses vara en försvårande omständighet till ett huvudbrott. Problematiken uppkommer då gärningspersonen inte riktat en brottslig handling direkt mot barnet och kan således inte presumeras ha uppsåt att skada barnet. I rättsutredningen diskuteras om det krävs en distinktion i straffbestämmelserna där barnens bevittnande av en våldshandling mot närstående istället utgör ett självständigt brott. Detta bidrar till att barnens skydd stärks och följaktligen att artikel 19 i
FN:s barnkonvention, som beskriver det internationella skyddet på området, uppfylls på ett... (More)
Barns bevittnande av ett våldsamt agerande mot närstående är idag inte en kriminaliserad handling i svensk rätt. Idag regleras detta i 29 kap. 2 § 8 p. BrB, där barns bevittnande anses vara en försvårande omständighet till ett huvudbrott. Problematiken uppkommer då gärningspersonen inte riktat en brottslig handling direkt mot barnet och kan således inte presumeras ha uppsåt att skada barnet. I rättsutredningen diskuteras om det krävs en distinktion i straffbestämmelserna där barnens bevittnande av en våldshandling mot närstående istället utgör ett självständigt brott. Detta bidrar till att barnens skydd stärks och följaktligen att artikel 19 i
FN:s barnkonvention, som beskriver det internationella skyddet på området, uppfylls på ett tillfredsställande sätt.

Ur ett barnperspektiv argumenteras för en kriminalisering. Barn anses enligt förarbeten vara en särskilt sårbar och skyddslös grupp i samhället, vilket även bidrar till att strängare straff borde följa av brott som inkluderar deras närvaro. Den psykiska misshandel barnet utsätts för i dessa situationer är dock svår att tolka in i de befintliga brottsrubriceringar i BrB. Ur ett samhällsperspektiv belyser uppsatsen utifrån rättspraxis de praktiska problem som uppstår vid ett införande respektive ett utvidgande av redan befintliga straffbestämmelser.

För att sätta den svenska rättens hanterande av problematiken i perspektiv görs en komparativ jämförelse med nordisk och internationell rätt på området. Nya Zeeland har infört en särskild reglering som särskiljer barn från vuxna brottsoffer och beaktar således barnens skydd i större utsträckning. De aktuella begreppen utreds och analyseras med hjälp av rättspraxis samt doktrin.

Rättsläget är idag oklart gällande på vilket sätt bevittnandefallen kommer til utryck i den svenska rätten. Trots detta är berörda aktörer i samhället eniga om att ytterligare åtgärder bör vidtas för att stärka barnens skydd. Kriminaliseringen är i teorin en god tanke, dock finns det praktiska svårigheter med ett förverkligande. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Alfredsson, Linn LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
3814670
date added to LUP
2014-01-07 17:55:23
date last changed
2014-01-07 17:55:23
@misc{3814670,
  abstract     = {A child, who witness an act of violence towards it's immediate family, is not considered to be victim of any criminal offence according to Swedish law. The most relevant provision is Chapter 29 § 2 8p. of the Swedish Penal Code. The provision state that a child, who witness a violent action, is merely considered to be an aggravating circumstance to a principal offense, such as battery or harassment. The key issue being, that the perpetrator has not committed the criminal action directly against the child, subsequently can there be no presumption that the offender had the intention to harm the child. This essay addresses the matter, whether a distinction regarding different penalty provisions, where a child who witness domestic violence, constitutes an independent criminal offence which is aimed directly towards the child. This suggested reform would result in a reinforcement of the protection of children. In addition, the reform would ensure that Sweden fulfilled it's obligations under Article 19 of the UNCRC, which states the international protection standards concerning the subject matter.

Some scholars argue for a criminalization of such actions, with reference to the perspective of the child. Children are considered in preliminary legislative work to be a particular vulnerable and defenseless group in society, which amounts to that more severe punishment should follow a criminal action which is carried out in the presence of a child. The mental abuse the child is exposed to in these situations is difficult to interpret into or take regard to, in the existing provisions of the Swedish Criminal Code. From a society perspective and by case law, the essay highlights the practical issues, which would arise from an introduction and an expansion of the relevant criminal provisions.

Thirdly, in order to broaden the scope of the essay, a comparison has been made between Swedish law, Nordic and international law relating to domestic violence directed against children. For example New Zealand has introduced a special Act which distinguishes children from adult victims, hence, resulting in that the protection of the child is regarded to a greater extent than in Sweden. The relevant foreign terms are explained and analysed, based on how they would have been interpreted in Swedish case law and judicial doctrine.

The position in Swedish law, concerning cases where children witness violence within their immediate family is unclear. However, some actors within the community argue for that further action should be taken. In theory criminalization of such behavior in relation to the child, is an excellent idea. However, the execution of such a reform would constitute some practical issues.},
  author       = {Alfredsson, Linn},
  keyword      = {straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Barn som bevittnar våld i nära relationer},
  year         = {2013},
}