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Victim support, the state, and fellow human beings

  • Carina Gallo
  • Annika af Sandeberg
  • Kerstin Svensson
Publishing year: 2019
Language: English
Pages: 91-106
Publication/Series: International Review of Victimology
Volume: 25
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: SAGE Publications

Abstract english

This article focuses on the interdependence between the state and Sweden’s largest non-governmental victim support umbrella organization, Victim Support Sweden (VSS). In particular, it examines how government funding of VSS has developed since the end of the 1980s. Based on a qualitative analysis of government bills and VSS’s annual reports, the article gives a detailed account of how a non-governmental organization and the state are interconnected in a complementary relationship. The results show that VSS has differentiated itself from the state and government agencies by defining its victim support volunteers as ‘fellow human beings’. The state and VSS have, however, always been interdependent, which blurs the line between the two. VSS has relied on government grants, while the state has leaned on VSS for victim support. In addition, many of VSS’s local victim support centers have signed cooperation agreements with municipalities, which may give municipalities greater control over the centers’ work.


  • Social Work


  • ISSN: 2047-9433
Kerstin Svensson
E-mail: kerstin [dot] svensson [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se


School of Social Work

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