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Forthmeiier, FeliciaORCID iD iconorcid.org/0009-0002-7456-9315
Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Ekström, V. & Forthmeiier, F. (2024). Shelters for victims of domestic violence: Past, present and future. In: : . Paper presented at International Conference on Social Work Research, Education, and Practice: NASSW/FORSA, Gothenburg, June 17th-19th, 2024..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shelters for victims of domestic violence: Past, present and future
2024 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Shelters for abused women in Sweden today are transforming. This transformation can be described as a shift from a movement to a market, evolving from a history dominated by the nongovernmental feminist movement. Currently, over half of all shelters are operated by for-profit companies, indicating a formalization, professionalization, and marketization of these shelters.

The proposed symposium will feature three studies on shelters in Sweden. From Marie Cederschiöld University, Veronica Ekström, and Felicia Forthmeiier will present ongoing studies on how different actors (abused women, politicians, social services, and shelter representatives) perceive the quality of shelters. Their research aims to understand how these diverse constructions of quality can be contextualized in the ongoing processes of professionalization and marketization.

1. Domestic violence shelter - from the hallmark of the women's shelter movement to a service for sale on the Swedish welfare market

Felicia Forthmeiier and Veronica Ekström

Shelter is a key intervention for thousands of Swedish women who need to seek support and protection every year due to threats and violence in close relationships. Historically, the nonprofit women's shelter movement has been the sole provider of support and shelter to victims of domestic violence. The Swedish non-profit women's shelter movement was initiated in the late 1970s and has since offered support and later shelter to women and children exposed to violence. It has been a strong voice for women's rights and has promoted men's violence against women as a political issue. In the last decade, there has been a shift in the organization of shelters, where greater political interest in abused women has led to extended welfare services that include abused women. Political reforms have resulted in increased formalization and professionalization of shelters. Notably, sheltered housing is no longer primarily run by nonprofit women's shelters. Instead, it has become an intervention offered on the welfare market where non-profit organizations (women’s shelters) compete with new private profit-making actors for social services' placements in shelters. Through a document study in which we have analyzed a selection of parliamentary prints, we have aimed to understand how this development has taken place and what is the basis for the shift from a women's rights-driven movement's idea of sisterhood as a solution to men's violence against women to the fact that a place in a shelter is now bought as a service on the Swedish welfare market.

2. Quality in shelters for abused women – perceptions of quality among professional actors

Veronica Ekström

While most shelters for abused women in Sweden used to be run by the women’s movement, about half of the shelters are, today, operated by private companies. The social services’ procurement of these shelters has resulted in increased demands for quality and monitoring. The second presentation will focus on results from a research study on perceptions of quality inshelters among local politicians on a municipal level, managers in social services, and shelter representatives. The analysis shows that perceptions of quality range from adherence to the social services’' assignment orders to evidence, cost-effectiveness, and competence among staff both at the social services and shelters. Moreover, an overly ”caring” attitude among staff both at the social services and shelters is portrayed as problematic and unprofessional. Among representatives for shelters, aspects like employed and competent staff, a suitable housing environment, safety, and access to other kinds of support (adjusted for individuals and regarding children) constitute an overall construction of quality in shelters. Moreover, well-functioning social services are necessary for the shelter's possibility to provide good quality. An important conclusion from the two studies is that procurement and placements in shelters can constitute an unwieldy conflict surface where logic and practices typical of both market and welfare are pitted against each other.

3. Alone, Protected and Confined – Abused Women’s Constructions of Quality in Shelters

Felicia Forthmeiier

Intimate partner violence (IPV) shelter is an important and central intervention for women and children exposed to domestic violence. Despite this, we know little about women's perceptions and experiences of residing in shelters and how they define good quality in shelters. This study is based on 19 semi-structured interviews with women who had been staying in shelters and aims to answer how women construct quality in shelters. The thematic analysis reveals a complex and contradictory picture of shelters, where the quality of the housing environment, services, structure, and access to support varies greatly between shelters. We found that women experience feelings of confinement and control due to the structure and regulations of the shelter as well as extensive loneliness during their stay. At the same time, opinions on what good quality of a shelter is, are relatively unanimous; the shelter should be a safe place for recovery, provide a respite from violence, and should offer both counseling and practical support aiming to process previous difficult experiences and to help create a new life free from violence. Some shelters were described as perceiving children only as an appendage to the mother, where no specific adjustments or services were provided to the children, while others took a more holistic family-oriented approach where children's needs were perceived as equal to those of the mothers. Shelters adjusted for children’s needs were perceived as having better quality.

National Category
Social Work
Research subject
The Individual in the Welfare Society, Social Welfare and the Civil Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-10947 (URN)
Conference
International Conference on Social Work Research, Education, and Practice: NASSW/FORSA, Gothenburg, June 17th-19th, 2024.
Note

Veronica Ekström gave the oral presentation.

Available from: 2024-06-28 Created: 2024-06-28 Last updated: 2024-06-28Bibliographically approved
Forthmeiier, F. (2023). Ensam, skyddad och begränsad: Våldsutsatta kvinnors konstruktioner av kvalitet i skyddat boende. In: : . Paper presented at Nationell konferens med fokus på samordnade interventioner inom socialt arbete med våld mot barn och vuxna i nära relationer, Stockholm, Sverige, 2 oktober 2023.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ensam, skyddad och begränsad: Våldsutsatta kvinnors konstruktioner av kvalitet i skyddat boende
2023 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Skyddat boende är en viktig och central insats för kvinnor och barn som utsätts för våld i hemmet. Trots detta vet vi lite om kvinnors uppfattningar och erfarenheter av att bo på skyddade boenden och hur de definierar god kvalitet. Denna studie baseras på 19 semistrukturerade intervjuer med kvinnor som har bott på skyddade boenden och syftar till att svara på hur kvinnor konstruerar kvalitet i skyddat boende. Den tematiska analysen visar en komplex och motsägelsefull bild av skyddade boenden, där kvaliteten på boendemiljö, insatser, struktur och tillgång till stöd varierar stort mellan olika boenden. Vi fann att kvinnor upplever känslor av instängdhet och kontroll på grund av boendets struktur och regler samt att känslor av ensamhet är omfattande under vistelsetiden. Samtidigt är åsikterna om vad som är god kvalitet på ett skyddat boende relativt samstämmiga; boendet ska vara en säker plats för återhämtning, en fristad från våld, erbjuda både samtalsstöd och praktiskt stöd i syfte att bearbeta tidigare svåra upplevelser och skapa ett nytt liv fritt från våld. Vissa skyddade boenden beskrevs som att de endast såg barnen som ett bihang till mamman, där inga särskilda anpassningar eller insatser tillhandahölls för barnen, medan andra hade en mer holistisk familjeorienterad strategi där barnens behov ses som likvärdiga med mammans. Skyddade boenden anpassade för barns behov uppfattas som mer kvalitativa.

National Category
Social Work
Research subject
The Individual in the Welfare Society, Social Welfare and the Civil Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-10433 (URN)
Conference
Nationell konferens med fokus på samordnade interventioner inom socialt arbete med våld mot barn och vuxna i nära relationer, Stockholm, Sverige, 2 oktober 2023
Available from: 2023-10-03 Created: 2023-10-03 Last updated: 2023-10-10Bibliographically approved
Forthmeiier, F. & Ekström, V. (2023). Quality in Shelters: Experiences from Female Victims of Domestic Violence. In: : . Paper presented at European Conferences of Domestic Violence, Reykjavík, Iceland, 11-13 september 2023..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality in Shelters: Experiences from Female Victims of Domestic Violence
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Shelters in Sweden have been the subject of marketization and professionalization during the last decade. In most cases, it is the municipal social services who grants a woman placement in shelter and buys shelter services from either the women’s shelter movement or a private for-profit shelter. The social service are ought to ensure the shelters have a good qaulity standard. However, what good quality in shelter consists of is both relative and contextual. Different actors in a given context tend to represent different interests. Hence, it is difficult to define what quality is and therefore also ensuring and following up on measure of quality. This study investigates what quality in shelters is, according to female victims of domestic violence. The study has a qualitative design using semistructured interviews with 19 women who have experienced staying at a shelter. Several women describe quality in terms of the shelter’s staff members having miltifaceted traits. Simplified, quality of the staff is a combination of two different character types; the “professional staff member” who is educated, specialised on violence and can offer support and guidance and the “charitable staff member” who offers warmth, empathy and a more personal version of herself in order to meet the battered woman not only as a battered woman, but as a whole person with her own strengths, capacities and will. Another aspect of quality is the complexity of shelters’ rules; locked doors and security systems create a sense of unfairness when, as a victim, having to adjust to and living with daily-life restrictions as such. Diminishing the feeling of imprisonment seems to be an important aspect of improving quality in shelters. The study will provide knowledge about how quality in shelters can improve, knowledge that is important for further development of shelter practices for female victims of domestic violence.

National Category
Social Work
Research subject
The Individual in the Welfare Society, Social Welfare and the Civil Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-10432 (URN)
Conference
European Conferences of Domestic Violence, Reykjavík, Iceland, 11-13 september 2023.
Available from: 2023-10-03 Created: 2023-10-03 Last updated: 2023-10-10Bibliographically approved
Ekström, V. & Forthmeiier, F. (2022). Kvalitet i skyddat boende. In: : . Paper presented at Nationell konferens med fokus på samordnade interventioner inom socialt arbete med våld mot barn och vuxna i nära relationer, Stockholm, 3 oktober 2022..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kvalitet i skyddat boende
2022 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Skyddat boende är en viktig insats för många som utsatts för våld i nära relation. I takt med att mäns våld mot kvinnor uppmärksammats allt mer i Sverige görs också fler placeringar i skyddat boende, men också en förskjutning som innebär att allt fler skyddade boenden drivs av privata aktörer. Samtidigt pågår diskussioner om upphandling, kvalitetssäkring och tillståndsplikt inom detta område.

I ett flerårigt forskningsprojekt studerar vi hur kvalitet och upphandling av skyddat boende hanteras inom socialtjänsten. Vid detta seminarium kommer vi att presentera preliminära resultat från delar av vårt forskningsprojekt. Vi kommer att reflektera kring utvecklingstendenser, vad marknadiseringen innebär och kvalitetsbegreppets betydelse i relation till insatsen skyddat boende.

Veronica Ekström är docent i socialt arbete och verksam som lärare och forskare på Marie Cedershiöld högskola. På seminariet deltar också doktorand Felicia Forthmeiier som kommer att presentera sitt kommande avhandlingsarbete om tillståndsplikt för skyddade boenden.

National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-9828 (URN)
Conference
Nationell konferens med fokus på samordnade interventioner inom socialt arbete med våld mot barn och vuxna i nära relationer, Stockholm, 3 oktober 2022.
Note

Konferensen arrangeras av forskningsprogrammet Sivin-Barn vid Marie Cederschiöld högskola.

Available from: 2022-10-11 Created: 2022-10-11 Last updated: 2023-10-10Bibliographically approved
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0009-0002-7456-9315

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