A new survey has revealed the dark underbelly of care homes for children in Sweden. The HVB homes (hem vård av barn – loosely translated to home care for children) are institutions which are run to resemble a home environment for children who get placed there for different reasons.
The survey, Veckorevyn, says reports of sexual exploitation, abuse and gross rape in HVB homes have been made during the last four years.
In a survey of 106 reports, it was found that 133 people under the age of 25 stated that they had been subjected to rape or other sexual assault in HVB homes over the past four years.
In the vast majority of cases, the reported offender is someone who also lives in the accommodation, but many times there have been staff at the accommodation who carried out the alleged abuse.
The youngest child affected was four years old.
– The state is obliged to protect young people who have been placed in HVB homes. That is why these homes exist at all. No one should be subjected to sexual abuse, neither by staff nor by someone with whom they live, ” says Silvia Ingolfsdottir Åkermark, a lawyer who works with sexual offences, to SVT.
In more than half of the reports, the alleged abuse occurred regularly and went on for a long time. In many cases, staff were pointed out as perpetrators.