“Collective violence” and honour in Finland: a survey for professionals

Published date08 October 2018
Date08 October 2018
AuthorSatu Lidman,Tuuli Hong
Collective violenceand honour in
Finland: a survey for professionals
Satu Lidman and Tuuli Hong
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to report on how honour-related violence (HRV) is understood and
managed by professionals in Finland, emphasising the need to consider collectivity as an influential factor.
Therefore, this paper introduces the concept of collective violence. By investigating the level of awareness
and recognition of these violence phenomena, this paper discusses both preventative and punitive measures
that Finnish authorities are able to work with.
Design/methodology/approach A total of 111 Finnish anti-violence professionals completed a survey
that aimed to qualitatively investigate their perceptions of HRV and collectivity.
Findings The findings of this study indicated that collective violence is generally poorly recognised among
professionals in Finland. At present, both victim services and criminal justice system lack adequatestructures
to deal with issues of collective violence. These findings indicate that authorities need further education on
HRV and collectivity, as well as debates on whether the criminal code should be amended to meet
international requirements.
Originality/value As this violence has been researched only sporadically in the Finnish context,this study
provides new insight to under-researched area of honour-related and collective violence in Finland. These
findings may assist other European countries dealing with similar issues as well as guiding preventative and
punitive measures within the Finnish context.
Keywords Collective violence, Female genital mutilation (FGM), Forced marriage (FM),
Honour-related violence (HRV), Violence against women (VAW), Violence prevention
Paper type Research paper
Finland is generally perceived as a country with high standards in gender equality, yet the rates
of violence against women (VAW) reflect a dark reality (Nousiainen, 2016). Recent figures
indicate that 47 per cent of Finnish women have encountered physical and/or sexual violence
by a partner or a non-pa rtner since the age of 15 (European Union Age ncy for Fundamental
Rights, 2014). From the early 1990s, the state and several non-governmental organisations
(NGO) have undert aken various efforts to incr ease the recognition of VAW a nd to create a more
credible policy f or violence prevention and v ictim services. Overall, de velopment in this field has
been slow, and in some areas, the work is only just beginning. This paper focuses on
honour-related violence (HRV) or honour-based VAW in Finland, a phenomenon poorly
recognised at present.
HRV is a topical issue in Finland. The rapid increase of asylum seekers since 2015 has brought
HRV into the media headlines, heating up discussions on forced marriage (FM) in particular.
However, it is obvious that honour-related abuse in Finland is not restricted to FM and is
expressed in multiple ways. In Finland, unlike in Sweden, HRV is still considered to be quite a
recent problem. For instance, there has not been a single homicide identified as an honour
killing, neither have there been any charges of female genital mutilation (FGM) (Hansen et al.,
2016; Hong, 2017).
This research paper reports on current efforts to combat HRV in Finland, with emphasis on the
role of collectivity as a defining feature for this type of violence. This paper introduces the concept
Received 27 September 2017
Revised 24 November 2017
18 January 2018
Accepted 18 January 2018
Satu Lidman is Adjunct
Professor at the Faculty of Law,
University of Turku, Turku,
Finland; and Indenpendent
Researcher based in Turku,
Tuuli Hong is PhD Candidate at
the Faculty of Law,
University of Turku, Turku,
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-09-2017-0319 VOL. 10 NO. 4 2018, pp.261-271, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599

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