In recent years domestic violence has become an issue of major importance in Sweden. This is a fact to be observed in mass media but also in changes made in legislation. As concern and attention raises, new victim groups are "discovered". Among these we find women who have come to Sweden as refugees, through their marriage to Swedish men, or when reunited with a husband who arrived earlier. These women are often believed to be in greater danger to be fysically abused by their husbands and to have greater difficulties to coop with the situation than for example Swedish women. This due to the fact that they may have language problems, a lack of knowledge of the Swedish society, but also because of their cultural heritage.
The empirical material in this study consists of cases of violence against women, collected from the special unit of social services to which immigrants are referred. Interviews were also made with a selected number of immigrant women and social workers.
The study aims at analysing several aspects of the women´s lifes, not only the violence they experience from their partners. Such aspects are the exile situation and the cultural background of the families,but also value conflicts experienced in cultural norms, gender perspectives and human rights. Interviews with social workers focus om what actions they took in order to help the battered women, how they perceive these women, and problems when helping them.