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maria wemrell

Maria Wemrell


maria wemrell

Intimate partner violence and the Nordic paradox


  • Maria Wemrell
  • Anna-Karin Ivert

Summary, in English

Survey data (FRA 2014) suggest that the lifetime rates of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) in the Nordic countries are among the highest in the EU, even though these countries are positioned as among the most gender equal in the world. This co-existence of high levels of gender equality and of high IPVAW rates, which has been termed the Nordic Paradox, has hitherto not been adequately understood. This presentation provides an outline of a cross-disciplinary research project aiming to explore this Nordic Paradox by (1) analyzing whether the apparent paradox reflects true differences in IPVAW prevalence, or whether they are expressions of confounding or information bias; (2) conducting multilevel analyses to increase understanding of the individual risk of IPVAW, as well as within and between country variations; and (3) performing qualitative research in two countries exemplifying the Nordic paradox: Sweden and Spain. The emphasis of the presentation lies on qualitative research (3) consisting of focus groups and interviews with 30 professionals working with IPVAW in Southern Sweden, aiming to elucidate the professionals’ thoughts and experiences surrounding the Nordic Paradox. While questioning the data underpinning the Nordic Paradox, the professionals pointed to factors potentially contributing toward, and presenting specific challenges for the handling and prevention of, IPVAW in Sweden. Notably, they suggested that despite relative gender equality, strong tendencies towards rendering IPVAW unseen remain.


  • Department of Gender Studies
  • Social Epidemiology

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Sociology

Conference name

IPVI - Interpersonal Violence Interventions - Social and Cultural Perspectives

Conference date

2021-06-10 - 2021-06-11

Conference place

Jyväskylä, Finland



Research group

  • Social Epidemiology