Women at an asylum home in Halmstad have claimed to feel increasingly unsafe around male residents who make abusive comments at them and try to sexually assault them.
The women, who make up one-fifth of the total population of the asylum residence, say they are so afraid of reprisals from the men living at the home that they do not dare to speak openly about their issues at the home, broadcaster SVT reports.
One of the residents, who the broadcaster referred to as Maryam, refused to show her face or give her real name while talking about her experiences.
“I’m not going out alone, because I don’t know what the guys will do. I don’t mean all guys are bad, but there are some who drink and take tablets and, when they do, they don’t know what they are doing,” she said.
The broadcasters spoke to at least five female asylum seekers who said they knew of incidents where women were verbally abused or had been harmed in different parts of the home. They also recounted occasions when men had tried to enter showers and toilets while women were using them.
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The Spenshult home is the second largest in Sweden and holds around 500 asylum seekers, of which a fifth are women, and approximately 20 are children.
Women have faced problems in asylum homes and camps across Europe for years since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.
In Germany, women fled some homes, along with homosexuals and Christians, due to persecution, primarily by Muslim men. In 2016, human rights campaigners called on authorities to do more to help protect minorities, particularly vulnerable groups such as Christians and Yazidis.
In Greece, the problem of insecurity for women has been common in various migrant camps such as the notorious Moria camp on the island of Lesbos. In 2018, the United Nations refugee agency went as far as recommending gender segregation due to the risk of sexual violence.