From Iceland — The Number Of Women In The Women's Shelter Is Higher Than Last Year

The Number Of Women In The Women’s Shelter Is Higher Than Last Year

Published September 14, 2022

Photo by
Vísir / Asta Kristjánn

More women and children have stayed in the Women’s Shelter so far this year than during the whole of last year, reports Vísir.

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In a new report by the Commissioner of National Police on the first six months of the year, it was found that every day the police receive an average of seven reports of domestic violence. There have never been more reports.

The number of reports of rape also increased significantly, or by nearly a third between years. In the evening news for Stöð 2 yesterday, Eygló Harðardóttir, the project manager of anti-violence measures at the National Police Commissioner, said that these striking numbers of reports of violence can be explained by the fact that the government is focused on reducing the number of offences and not on increasing the number of reports.

Linda Dröfn Gunnarsdóttir, executive director of the Association for Women’s Shelters, says that attendance at the shelter’s counselling and accommodation services has steadily increased in recent years.

“This year, there are more women who stay with us in the shelter than the whole of last year. On average, 120-130 women spend the night here with an average of 100 children, and we are almost reaching this number this year,” says Linda Dröfn.

“We see the biggest jump in our counselling. We offer counselling services for women who are experiencing violence in a close relationship or are even thinking of getting out of such a relationship or need advice and support. Numbers of people requesting such services have multiplied,” she says.

“There are always these questions about whether this is a real increase or more awareness and more registrations or whether people are more efficient in seeking help. It is always a bit difficult to distinguish between them. It is not necessarily our experience that violence in close relationships has increased a lot, but rather that women are increasingly seeking help,” says Linda Dröfn.

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