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Who needs victim support?

  • Kerstin Svensson
Publishing year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 300-306
Document type: Conference paper
Publisher: Nordiska Samarbetsrådet för Kriminologi

Abstract english

To be in need or to manage is a question open for negotiation. The concept of need is depending on the

interpretation of the one who defines it. When a person is a victim of crime, her needs' can be defined

from many different perspectives. Organisations for victim support are becoming more and more

established. These organisations are founded on ideas of "need", the organisations are "needed" because

no one else gives the support that the victim "needs". Which are then the societal needs that create a space

for this kind of organisations and how do the persons involved regard the needs of the victims? I will

present results from a study of the Swedish victim support organisation. First, I will discuss the role of the

organisation in the Swedish welfare state. The main focus in my presentation will though be the volunteers

in this organisation. With data from interviews with volunteers, employees and supported victims as

well as data from a vignette study I will discuss the idea of the ideal victim as it is presented within the

organisation. This way, I elucidate how the needing victim is constructed and understood in the victim

support organisation and partly also how the need of this voluntary organisation can be understood in the

frame of the welfare state.


  • Social Work


  • ISBN: 951-53-2554-4
Kerstin Svensson
E-mail: kerstin [dot] svensson [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se


School of Social Work

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