More grave cases of domestic violence

Kolbrún Benediktsdóttir, the Deputy District Prosecutor.

Kolbrún Benediktsdóttir, the Deputy District Prosecutor.Árni Sæberg

Deputy District Prosecutor Kolbrún Benediktsdóttir says she sees the number of serious domestic violence cases increasing. She also says she suspects that steroid use may be linked to cases of domestic violence, although this has yet to be investigated.

“The feeling you have is that there is a real increase in these serious offenses,” Benediktsdóttir tells, adding that it has become more common for victims of domestic violence to be in mortal danger when the offense is reported.

According to data compiled by the Office of the Director of Health in April, it is shown that domestic violence had increased in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. There were 312 cases of domestic violence in 2021, whereas there were 239 the year before.

However, the number of cases don’t appear go down since then. There were 298 cases in 2022, whereas there were 268 cases in the first quarter of 2023 only.

More instances or more often reported?

“It’s a trend that may have been around for a while. You’re seeing a lot of very nasty domestic violence cases,” she says, pointing out that there have been some cases in the last few years that have been very serious.


It also highlights a judgment handed down this week. A man was sentenced to eight years in prison for aggravated domestic violence. He ruthlessly abused his dominant position in relation to his wife. The woman had been living in a terror situation for a long time. He was convicted of four counts of rape and other serious crimes against the woman.

"We're going to see if these numbers of cases are representing a real increase or if the victims report to the police more often," she says.

Perpretators often suspected of steroid use

Benediktsdóttir also says that there has been a suspicion for quite some time of steroid use being linked to domestic violence cases.

“There are often suspicions that perpetrators in such cases are on steroids,” she says and adds that consumption of stimulants often plays a role in such cases.

She mentions, however, that the connection between steroids and domestic violence has not been investigated, but in her opinion there is every reason to look at it specifically.

“It’s a feeling you have, that it’s something that’s there in many cases — but not necessarily in all cases.”


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