Social VIOLENCE, as well as physical and psychological violence are common in “mixed” marriages!
Domestic violence is not accepted in Danish society
Violence against a family member is unacceptable in Denmark. This applies to the spouse, violence against children, or other family members.
Violence leaves a lot of traces – you can physically see that a person has been beaten, kicked or cut in with a knife. Or shot. Sometimes the violence ends with the victim dying, and then there is a murder case, which usually leads to imprisonment for many years and possible deportation from Denmark, if you are not a Danish citizen.
However, some of the worst traces in those who have to live with or, in the worst case, survive the violence are the traces that are not overcome through the doctor’s or hospital’s treatment. These are the traces that sit in the soul when you have been exposed to violence from someone you may have – or should have – the most trust in: your husband, father, mother or siblings.
Violence against the spouse – the wife
Violence against the spouse – the wife is as described destructive and harmful. But there can be other serious consequences, especially if the violence means that the marriage must be dissolved. And that situation unfortunately arises for a number of foreigners in Denmark.
The most common form of violence against a foreign woman is physical violence, but not infrequently it is psychological violence. And in situations where the woman only has a temporary residence permit on the basis of marriage, the immigration authorities may refuse to extend the residence permit if she no longer meets the conditions for having the residence permit extended – for example if she has been divorced from her abusive husband. In this way, the woman is punished twice: first knocked out of the marriage and then knocked out of Denmark.
Another ugly form of psychological violence is the “social violence”, leaving one’s foreign wife in ignorance of the family’s finances and dispositions.
Often it is the husband who alone has this responsibility. Too often, the husband does not allow his wife to gain insight and co-determination into the family finances and other matters important to the family. It is often seen that the husband of a foreign wife also does not inform and help his wife to gain the necessary knowledge about Danish society, his elementary rights and opportunities. All too often, the foreign woman stands without insight into society and her rights.
Residence permit and the Danish Immigration Service
In theory, the immigration authorities must take great account of the fact that the woman has ended up in a difficult situation. And that means that as a battered woman, in some cases you can keep your residence permit, even if the marriage is over. Even in this difficult situation, the woman must make sure that she receives as much documentation as possible of the violence perpetrated by her husband, regardless of whether it is physical, mental or social.
If you have been the victim of violence, it is important to quickly document the violence that has taken place. This can be done by the doctor, who must describe the possible injuries and marks that can be seen. Another option is to contact the emergency room of the nearby hospital. If there are witnesses to the violence, you should get their names and addresses. If the violence is severe and has caused physical damage, report it to the police and demand a receipt for the report. By the way, you can always find out from the police where the emergency room is geographically located. It is best to show up at the police station. The police report to the Danish Immigration Service must be used as documentation of the violence perpetrated. If the woman has stayed at a shelter or been in contact with the social authorities, it is also important to get papers from here
When the immigration authorities have to assess an application to extend a battered woman’s temporary residence permit, it must be taken into account whether the loss of the residence permit will put the woman in a particularly difficult situation. To assess this, one looks at the woman’s connection to Denmark, the duration of her stay here, her risk of being expelled if she returns to her home country. Finally, the authorities must assess the case on the basis of the woman’s age and health, and then any children must be taken into account. It is important not to move the population register address, as the Danish Immigration Service considers a move from the husband’s residence as a “separation”. From the day you move your population register address, the Danish Immigration Service considers it as a termination of the marriage. The state administration, the court and social authorities have a duty to report to the Danish Immigration Service if you get divorced or move from your spouse.
It must be remembered that the immigration authorities only make a decision on the basis of an individual and concrete assessment of the individual woman’s case. The immigration authorities may therefore withdraw or refuse to extend a temporary residence permit, even if the woman has been subjected to violence in cohabitation or in marriage.
It is the Danish Immigration Service that decides whether a residence permit must be revoked or extended. One can always complain about a refusal.
IMPORTANT is to remember that a complaint or appeal must be made within 7 days of the decision being made. Finally, you have the right to stay in Denmark while the complaint is being processed.
Seek advice as soon as possible
Regardless of the problem in relation to residence permits, violence in any form is completely unacceptable in Denmark. But it has unfortunately happened that women have lived in violent marriages for far too long, for fear of losing their marriage and thus perhaps the right to stay in Denmark. With the new set of rules, which require 7 years of residence in the country before a permanent residence permit can be obtained, many women risk ending up in a tragic situation.
Seek legal help
In many marriages, there are no clarified matters regarding values and investments, yes money matters. Such problems may be resolved through a lawyer. If there are in the marriage, children are adopted by the husband, common children, greater common values, common debt, etc. it is important to seek a lawyer. See our note on legal aid. If the future of a future divorce seems difficult and unmanageable, then seek the advice of a lawyer.
Are you in an acute crisis situation
A crisis situation can arise where you – the woman – are exposed to violence or such great psychological pressure that the situation is unbearable. If you do not have the opportunity to stay with anonymous (not known by your husband) friends, do not have the opportunity to pay for hotel stays, then shelters are an option. The shelters – see this list – are located throughout Denmark and mostly in the largest cities.
You can contact “around the clock”, but it is best to direct an inquiry the day before or during the day. The payment is reasonable and cannot be compared to hotel prices or stays. Children can of course be included. The shelters’ employees can be helpful in making contact with the social authorities, but we recommend that you contact the Social Counselor on an ongoing basis, it is your life that you should not let the shelters clientify you.
The immigrant counseling and Violence against Foreign Women will also be able to make contact with the social authorities and be an assistant, the helper in relation to the social authorities, a lawyer, etc.
Seek advice, talk to others, get help
Violence must not be accepted in Denmark, violence must not be accepted regardless of which cultural circle you come from, nor violence against your children or your other family.
Talk to others.
It is often possible to get help so that the violence can be stopped without the welfare of the family otherwise having to be destroyed.
If you feel that things are starting to go awry, there is good access to advice from
Immigrant Counseling and Violence Against Foreign Women
Stenkildevej 4-butikken DK 8260 Viby (At Viby square and opposite the Viby center)
Bus: 1A 4A 6A 11 14 200, letbane L2.
Tlf. +45 26223611 – +45 50141816
Tuesday and Thursday from kl. 11:00 til 16:00
Contact by phone +45 26223611 ”around the clock”.