Psykisk vold inden for lovens rammer

– muligheder og begrænsninger i retliggørelsen af psykisk vold


  • Mie Mølbak
  • Caroline Skovgård Jørgensen



Psychological violence, juridification, police reports, criminal prosecution, sociology of law, Psykisk vold, retliggørelse, politianmeldelser, strafforfølgelse, retssociologi


Psychological violence is a new phenomenon in the Danish criminal justice system. A law against degrading and coercive behavior among close relations was introduced to the Danish Penal Code under § 243 in 2019 to protect victims of this form of violence.

This article investigates the application of the new law and discusses its possibilities and limitations. Using mixed methods, we examine 631 police reports and 29 court transcripts. Our analysis allows us to characterize the most frequent types of cases that arise within the criminal justice system. This is possible due to our collaboration with the Danish police, who have provided us with information on every reported case of psychological violence in Denmark.

The analysis shows that the new law is difficult to apply and that it has resulted in very few convictions this far. Furthermore, the convictions obtained reflect only a narrow range of the behaviours the new law is designed to address. All 10 convictions concern a male perpetrator battering a female partner. Cases that did not result in conviction concern a much broader range of psychological violence.

The criminal justice approach to the problem of psychological violence has been unsuccessful so far in meeting its objective of protecting victims. The main challenge is the many legal requirements of the law which leave significant discretion to the police, prosecution and the courts. There is a possibility that the legislation will help build normative barriers against psychological violence, but this theoretical effect is long-term and dependent on how the law is applied





Mølbak, M. ., & Skovgård Jørgensen, C. . (2022). Psykisk vold inden for lovens rammer: – muligheder og begrænsninger i retliggørelsen af psykisk vold. Nordisk Tidsskrift for Kriminalvidenskab, 109(2), 328–347.