Two sides of the coin – Domestic violence survivors’ expectations of financial support and social workers’ expectations of survivors within the social assistance system

This article is based on an interview study with thirteen survivors of domestic violence and ten social workers within the social assistance system. This article aims to understand how applications for social assistance from survivors are handled between the discretionary powers of the social workers, the organization’s fixed categories and the survivors’ need for support. Theories of street-level bureaucracy and human service organizations was used in the analysis. The results show that social workers state that they treat survivors with respect and generosity. Survivors said they wanted to meet a committed social worker, which was not the case for many of the survivors interviewed. Categorizing the ‘right’ kind of survivor is of great significance for being eligible to social assistance.