The Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) do research on violence and traumatic stress. NKVTS aims to help those affected by violence and trauma. The centre is internationally oriented, and develops knowledge on an international, academic level.

Through research, we develop, inform and report on good practice for practitioners, as well as contributing to the advancement of the academic field of violence and traumatic stress. The goal is to prevent and reduce the health and social consequences of violence and traumatic stress.

Prioritised areas

  • Research and development
  • Communication: teaching, academic supervision and counselling
  • Consultation

Our centre’s approach is interdisciplinary, including medical, psychological, social, cultural and judicial fields. Central to our research are age, ethnicity and gender factors.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has assigned NKVTS national responsibility for health emergency preparedness in case of terrorism and disasters.

Fields of expertise

NKVTS collaborates with regional resource teams within the field of violence and trauma, as well as other relevant clinical groups, research institutions and assistance services nationally and internationally.

The centre does not operate at a clinical level, but the research is beneficial for those who work with individuals exposed to violence, abuse and other trauma.

International work

More than 25% of NKVTS’ peer-review production is done with researchers from other countries. We initiate and participate in international, collaborative projects, such as RefugeesWellSchool, Violence against women migrants and refugees, and PROTECT: Prospective Research On Terrorist Events.

NKVTS employees are board members of both the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). NKVTS is an active participant in the Arq Psychotrauma Collaborative Europe (APCE), exchanging research ideas and initiating projects between leading European institutions.

NKVTS held the 3rd European Conference on Domestic Violence (ECDV) in Oslo in September 2019, with more than 800 delegates from 41 countries.


NKVTS’ vision:

A better life for those affected by violence and trauma


Organisational structure

The managing director at NKVTS is Cecilie Daae.

The following sections are responsible for research and development:

  • Section for Violence and Trauma – Children and Youth.
    Head of section: Gertrud Sofie Hafstad
  • Section for Violence and Trauma – Adults and Elderly.
    Head of section: Gertrud Sofie Hafstad
  • Section for Trauma, Catastrophes and Forced Migration – Children and Youth.
    Head of section: Synne Øien Stensland
  • Section for Trauma, Catastrophes and Forced Migration – Adults and Elderly.
    Head of section: Arnfinn Andersen
  • Section for Implementation and Treatment Research.
    Head of section: Harald Bækkelund

The centre has the following support staff:

NKVTS is a part of NORCE research. NKVTS was established January 1st 2004 and was, until July 2019, a daughter company of UNIRAND AS, owned by the University of Oslo.

The Board

The Board consists of seven members and alternate members.

Commissioning Institutions

The Ministry of Health and Care Services, Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the Ministry of Children and Families are the primary financers of NKVTS. NKVTS also has projects financed by the Norwegian Research Council, EU, and others.

Other agencies and institutions can order the centre’s services. In these cases, NKVTS will evaluate each request separately, to see if it is within our scope of expertise and capacity to be of service.