Core Course Week in the ‘Burg

On Monday, I hopped on a long-distance train with my Forensic Psychology core course and headed to Gothenburg, Sweden’s famous port city on the western coast. Our trip was only three days long, but it was jam-packed with good food, fun activities, learning experiences, and — get ready for this — the sun! No shade to Stockholm, of course.

These views from the train made waking up at 6:30 much more palatable.
One of the main squares in Gothenburg. Also where most public executions took place, but I’ll get to that later.
DIS student blogger-ception😎 Check out Godfrella’s blog here!

Day 1: Gender equality and Slottsskogen moose

After dropping our luggage at the hotel, our first academic visit was with a member of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, which is headquartered in Gothenburg. She discussed her focus on curbing men’s violence against women, as well as the other five sub-goals prioritized by the agency and Sweden’s gender equality policy. It was very cool to hear from someone who does such important work.

We then headed to the Slottsskogen zoo with our professor, a Gothenburg native. Some of my classmates understandably went back to the hotel to take a nap, but I was intent on seeing some moose. After an almost 30-minute (uphill, if I may add) trek through the park, we finally made it. I don’t quite know what I was expecting, but for the first time in my life, I think I can unironically say that I was flabbergasted. They were massive.

This guy sat next to the fence and let us take pictures of him. I think he liked the attention.

Slottsskogen is also a beautiful park (see below). I could have spent an entire day there.

Day 2: ATSUB, crime walks, and getting lost

*Trigger warning: sexual abuse. Skip to next section break if needed.*

On Tuesday, our first academic visit was to ATSUB, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding the relatives and caretakers of sexually-abused children.

In a roundtable discussion with one of their employees, we learned how challenging victim services for this extremely vulnerable population can be. ATSUB is uniquely positioned to support the relatives—predominately mothers—of victimized children by providing counseling, bonding activities, informational lectures, group talks, and other services. It’s not easy work, which made the discussion difficult at times.

Coming the from United States, where our legal system is far from perfect, I was surprised to learn about the mechanisms put in place by Swedish law that make victim services for this population so much more complicated and difficult. For example, a Swedish police officer taking a report of child sexual abuse does not need to be trained in the subject; oftentimes, they are from an unrelated department. Furthermore, sentencing lengths are very short, which can damage the recovery of the victim and their family.

Despite the difficult subject matter, it was an incredibly impactful visit.

After lunch, we met up for a good ol’ crime walk through the city. We first learned about Gothenburg’s German and Dutch roots before discussing the history of public executions, most of which took place in Gustav Adolfs torg, the main square.

The oldest church in Gothenburg!
The oldest building in Gothenburg!
Discussing the severed head that was found in the canal across the street

But learning about public executions and standing where they were once held was not enough; we had to visit the executioner’s house. We trekked up the hill that it stood on, overlooking the harbor. However, I don’t even remember if we saw the actual house because I was too busy trying not to get literally blown over by the most intense wind I have ever experienced.

I did get this picture, though!

My last activity of the day was getting lost on the Gothenburg tram system with my friend, Elizabeth. It ended up working out, though. During our journey back to the hotel, we got to go down to the harbor, see the sunset, talk to a very contemplative statue, and appreciate some cool graffiti art.

Day 3: Prison Island and a science museum

Before heading back to Stockholm, we visited Prison Island. No, it was not an actual prison or on an island, but it was still pretty cool. We split into teams and raced through 36 “cells” that each had a different—and hidden—objective. Some were more physically demanding, while others required more brain power. My group may have come in last place, but we definitely had the most fun.

Lastly, we visited Universeum, a science museum/zoo/tropical rainforest/aquarium. It really had it all. My personal favorite part was the rainforest exhibit, which was so immersive that I came out dripping with sweat from the sheer humidity.

After the museum, we grabbed our luggage and headed back to Stockholm on the long-distance train. Until next time, Gothenburg!

2 thoughts on “Core Course Week in the ‘Burg

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