Victim Support in a Changing Welfare State

Kerstin Svensson

Abstract

This article discusses how new kinds of individual needs develop parallel to the changes in the welfare state. From a study of Victim Service in Sweden it is shown how this organisation has grown parallel to the changes in the welfare state. In the empirical material it is also shown that the need of support often comes from secondary victimisation. Those who are helped by Victim Support are often people with loose bonds to society and people of low class. As victims they can get help from Victim Support, but the need derives from lacking service in the welfare state. NGOs have come to complement and strengthen organisations in the public sector when the welfare state has weakened. At the same time as the neo-liberal conception of crime, threats and risk has replaced the social democratic ideas of social security.

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