Gå direkt till innehåll Gå direkt till menyn

Responsibility, prevention and definitions

Information and links regarding threats, violence and harassment related to your work/profession.

The employer is responsible for workplace health and safety

If you are an employee, your employer is responsible for preventing the risk of threats, violence and harassment as far as possible. Most artists are self-employed or work on individual assignments with different employers. For individual clients in temporary project groups, knowing who is responsible for workplace health and safety can be unclear, just like it can be for established companies and organisations.

Definitions: violence, harassment and online hate speech

Is defamation a hate crime? What counts as an offence under the law? What is the difference between harassment and threats? Here, we clarify these concepts.

Hate crime – agitation against ethnic groups and unlawful discrimination

Hate crimes refer to crimes of incitement to racial hatred and unlawful discrimination. They can also be other offences where a motive for the offence has been to offend a person, an ethnic group or another comparable group of people on the grounds of any of the following:

  • Skin colour
  • National or ethnic origin
  • Religious beliefs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Transgender identity or gender expression.

Note: You don’t have to fit any of these descriptions to become a victim of hate crime. It is enough that the perpetrator believes that you have one of these characteristics.

Online hate speech usually takes place via email and social media

Online hate speech refers to different types of messages expressing hatred, directed at the recipient. It usually takes place via email and social media.

Even if online content is perceived as highly offensive, it is only considered illegal if it was committed as defined in the Swedish Criminal Code. The offences often involve unlawful threats, molestation, incitement to racial hatred and defamation (defamation is not normally subject to public prosecution in Sweden, which means that the victims themselves must request prosecution).

Report it to the police: Online threats and harassment do not only affect young people, but are a broad societal problem. It is important that you file a report with the police even if you are not sure whether what happened was a crime. And do it quickly – it makes it easier for the police to investigate.

Näthatshjälpen: This website is run by the equality foundation Make Equal with the help of project support from the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF). It serves as a tool is for people who are exposed to or see others being subjected to online hate. It also helps civil society organisations to get the support they need for taking preventive action against online hate.

Harassment aims to offend

What is the difference between harassment and threats?

  • Harassment aims to offend.
  • Threats aim to intimidate.

Harassment means that you, for example, are repeatedly stalked by someone, or receive unwanted visits, phone calls or messages. Harassment and sexual harassment are two forms of discrimination.

Stalking means that you are subjected to repeated, deliberate behaviour that makes you feel distressed. It may be that you are harassed or stalked repeatedly by someone who threatens you, makes unwelcome visits, calls repeatedly or sends letters or emails with offensive content. Report the stalking to the police as soon as possible and avoid contact with the perpetrator.

A serious threat is called an unlawful threat

For a threat to be considered a criminal offence – called an unlawful threat – it must be serious. The police describe unlawful threats as follows:

Unlawful threats mean that someone threatens to harm you or your property. The threat directed at you can also include other people, animals or objects that are of great importance to you. File a police report if you have been subjected to a threat that is perceived as serious.

Violence – someone hurting someone else

Violence means that a person causes physical or psychological harm to another person. The legal definition includes a range of crimes, from assault to murder.

Violence as a hate crime: When violence is an expression of hatred because of someone’s national or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation, it is a hate crime.

If you have been a victim of assault, it is important that you report it. Assault can occur in many different ways in different contexts.