Women's shelters take course on vulnerability of older people to violence in close relationships


Carina Hast and Marie Johansson from a women's shelter in Gävle.

This week, the Institute of Gerontology at the School of Health and Welfare at Jönköping University is organising a course for approximately ten women's shelters in Sweden. The professional development course is about older people's vulnerability to violence in close relationships. This is the first time the course is held at the School of Health and Welfare.

It all started when the shelter for older women in Luleå contacted Jönköping University to find out about new research on what is happening in the country in terms of domestic violence with a focus on older people. Then an invitation went out to more women's shelters. In total, there are about twenty participants from all over the country.

“We thought the course on domestic violence among older people at the School of Health and Welfare looked so interesting and thought that more women's shelters should take part in it. I think the days are very well planned," says Maja Larsson from Luleå's shelter.

"Seeing women who blossom when the husband dies"

The programme includes presentations of research studies in the field. Participants will also hear the police talk about their work and learn about how municipalities are dealing with the issue. Lena Östlund from the School of Health and Welfare, who is responsible for the course, says that the subject involves many different organisations and emphasises that cooperation is important.

Carina Hast and Marie Johansson from the Blåklockan women's shelter in Gävle were two of the participants. The programme has given them more knowledge on a personal level and the research also gives them more sway when they talk to politicians.

“It is also an opportunity for us to meet and exchange experiences. I heard someone say during the morning, “I see women who blossom when the husband dies”, and I was really struck by that," says Marie.