Study: Nearly Half of Women in Sweden’s ‘Vulnerable’ Areas Feel Unsafe After Dark

People stand on a street bench next to Husby subway station as they attend a demonstration against police violence and vandalism in the Stockholm suburb of Husby on May 22, 2013. Rioting spread across Stockholm immigrant districts in a third night of unrest, raising fears that decades of integration efforts …

Nearly half of the women in Sweden’s ‘vulnerable areas’, sometimes referred to as no-go zones, feel insecure in their own neighbourhoods in the evening, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå).

The new report released on Friday claims that 48 percent of women living in Sweden’s often heavily migrant-populated ‘vulnerable areas’ say they feel insecure about being outside, as opposed to women in other parts of the country, where the average is only 30 percent.

For men, the sense of insecurity is much lower in ‘vulnerable areas’, with only 22 percent admitting to feeling unsafe, but the figure is dramatically higher than in the rest of Sweden, where a mere nine percent of men feel insecure.

“In some cases, the insecurity and concern of women in socially vulnerable areas are significantly higher, compared with men in the same areas, as compared to both women and men in other urban areas,” said Brå investigator Sofie Ahlin.

Another major difference between residents of vulnerable areas was the level of trust in the judicial system, with only 52 percent of residents trusting the authorities.

Nearly 20 percent of men and women living in vulnerable areas say they have been victims of crimes.

Sweden is not the only country in the European Union to have heavily migrant-populated areas in which women feel more and more vulnerable.

In the suburbs of the French capital of Paris, women have reported feeling unwelcome, and have even complained of being refused entry to cafes simply for being women.

In some areas of Paris itself, women living in the district of Chapelle-Pajol have expressed similar concerns, saying they have been constantly harassed by migration-background men.

One 50-year-old resident named Natalie, who had been living in the area for 30 years, said: “These are insults, incessant reflections. The atmosphere is agonising, to the point of having to modify our itinerary, our clothes. Some even gave up going out.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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