Norway: more domestic violence among immigrants
From Dagsavisen.no (my translation):
"Sure, he beats me. But he doesnt hit me every day."
That is how one of the residents at a battered women´s refuge in the East Country excuses her husband. He is not an "abuser". He only beats here off and on.
- In many cultures, violence against women is unfortunately more the norm and more accepted. It isnt seen as abuse, either. That is part of the explanation for women with immigrant backgrounds being overrepresented in Norwegian batered women´s refuges, says Vigdis Bratz, leader of the Norwegian Battered Womens Organisation to Dagsavisen.
Work as slaves.
The police see it, too: in around 70 percent of the domestic violence cases in Oslo police district, the perpetrator or victim, or both, have another ethnic background than Norwegian. ..
- Based on the cases we know of, it seems as if violence is more pronounced in families with an alien cultural background, says family violence coordinator in Oslo police district, Stein-Erik Olsen, to Dagsavisen.
In many criminal cases, foreign women have told about them being expected to work as slaves for her husband and his family. If they come to Norway through family-reunification with a husband with immigrant background who is born here, the woman lacks a network of her own. They have neither family nor friends to turn to for help.
- We see many cases of women having married themselves here, that then get into big trouble. If they refuse to fit in they dont just get their husband against them, but his entire family, says Olsen.
At Tone Skjelbostad´s, leader of the battered womens refuge in Oslo, more than 80 percent of the women that have fled violence are immigrants. Almost all of them are married to men with foreign backgrounds, she explains. ..
As Dagsavisen has reported earlier, many of the foreign women at the battered womens refuges have been subjected to violence after relationships with ethnically Norwegian men. But also on a national level, the numbers from the refuges clearly show that immigrant women married to immigrant men are clearly over-represented compared to their numbers. In all, 48 percent of all women in the refuges had a foreign background in 2004. 68 percent of those women were married to foreign husbands.