For victims

Help is available to the victims of crime throughout the legal process. There are specific rules for crimes involving victims under the age of 18, including that the crime must be investigated quickly.

On this page:

  1. You may be able to get help from a counsel for the injured party
  2. You may be entitled to protection
  3. The prosecutor can issue a restraining order
  4. How to claim damages
  5. How to appeal a verdict
  6. When the victim is a juvenile

You may be able to get help from a counsel for the injured party

You are eligible for a counsel for the injured party if you have been subjected to certain types of crime, such as a sexual offence, assault, unlawful deprivation of liberty or robbery. You can also be entitled to a counsel for the injured party if you are subjected to another crime that may lead to the suspect receiving a prison sentence, given your personal situation and other circumstances. The prosecutor may then apply to the court to appoint a counsel for the injured party. The person appointed to represent the injured party’s interests in court will be a qualified lawyer.

As a victim of crime, you may be entitled to protection

In certain cases, the victim of a crime may require protection from threats and risks. There are various types of protection, both to protect your person and to protect your personal data. You can obtain further information about this from the Swedish Police and the Swedish Crime Victim Authority via the adjacent links.

The prosecutor can issue a restraining order

A restraining order may be granted if there is a clear and present risk that someone will harass, stalk or commit a crime against another named individual. The decision to grant a restraining order rests with prosecutors.

The subject of a restraining order is prohibited from visiting, calling or in any other way contacting the individual to whom the order applies.

The prosecutor shall make a risk assessment on a case-by-case basis regarding the likelihood of a future offence, stalking or serious harassment. The prosecutor is required to assess the proportionality of such an order, meaning that reason for the restraining order shall be weighed against the consequences for the person who is to be subjected to the prohibition.

How to claim damages

As the injured party, you can claim damages from the person responsible for your injury. You should provide notification of your intention to claim damages when you make your report to the police. If no counsel has been appointed for the injured party, in most cases it is the prosecutor’s task to bring an action for damages. This means that the prosecutor will seek damages on your behalf during the trial.

The prosecutor will be aware of the amount involved as the police will have forwarded your claim to the prosecutor.

How to appeal a verdict

If the prosecutor is dissatisfied by the verdict delivered by the district court, he or she can appeal the judgment to the court of appeal, a higher instance. The defendant, and in some cases the injured party, may also appeal against the judgment. Generally speaking, it will not be necessary for those involved to testify again at the new trial in the court of appeal. Audio-visual recordings of their testimony before the district court will be available to the court of appeal and it is normally sufficient to play these in court.

The court of appeal’s decision may in turn be appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court mainly considers cases that may prove precedential to how the courts should rule on similar cases in future.

When the victim is a juvenile

As crimes committed against children are particularly difficult to investigate, they are usually dealt with by an experienced and specially trained prosecutor.

It is especially important to quickly and efficiently investigate crimes in which the victim is a minor. Specific rules apply to the speed with which a case must be dealt with when the victim is under 18 years of age and the crime is serious. If the victim of crime is a minor, she or he is entitled to a counsel for the injured party during the trial.

During the course of a criminal investigation and trial, the aim is to spare the child any further suffering. In several areas of the country there are special Children's Houses where a number of services such as the police, social services, doctors, etc. are gathered under one roof, so that children do not need to travel between different locations. Interviews with children are conducted in a tranquil environment by specially trained police officers. To avoid the need for children to testify in court, interviews with younger children are video taped and then shown during the trial.