Topic: Violence and abuse

Violence in Close relationships. Research programme.

This five-year Ministry of Justice initiated research programme consisted of research on violence in close relationships, both between adults and against children and young people. The main purpose was to increase our knowledge on how violence in close relationships affects social groups differently, and how it affects individuals over time, as well as how victims of violence are met by public services.

2014 This programme has been completed 2019

Programme Manager

Programme Members

Main objective

The programme includes 13 projects on various topics, such as the prevalence of violence, revictimization, substance abuse, violence against elderly people, the link between violence and gender, equality and power, victims who do not seek help or press charges, sexual abuse, experiences with public services, and female genital cutting.

Publications and conferences

The findings are published in scientific journals and books, and communicated at academic conferences. The researchers continue to address a wider audience through seminars, reports and essays. The 3rd European Conference on Domestic Violence (ECDV) is held in Oslo September 1-4 2019, a collaboration between NKVTS and NOVA (Norwegian Social Research). The programme has also resulted in a book (in Norwegian). English summaries of individual chapters can be read here.


The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security initiated the research programme in 2014, within the framework of a White paper (2012-2013) and the last government Plan of action (2014-2017) on violence in close relationships. Both NKVTS and NOVA received funds through the programme. The violence research communities at NOVA and NKVTS complement one another, and cooperate on seminars, conferences and other research and promotional activities.

NKVTS received 44 million kroner (approx. 4.5 million euros) from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Education and Research as part of the programme.

Active projects

Completed projects

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Ziyada, M. M., Johansen, R. E. B., Berthelsen, M., Lien, I. L., & Bendiksen, B. (2023). Factors associated with general practitioners’ routines and comfortability with assessing female genital cutting: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Health Services Research, 23(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-023-09085-4

Johansen, R. E. B. (2022). Discourses of change: the shift from infibulation to sunna circumcision among Somali and Sudanese migrants in Norway. PLOS ONE, 17(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0268322

Ziyada, M. M. (2022). Access to female genital cutting specialized services in Norway. Oslo: Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. (Series of dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo 978-82-348-0075-7). (Dissertation).

Augusti, E. M., & Myhre, M. C. (2021). The Barriers and Facilitators to Abuse Disclosure and Psychosocial Support Needs in Children and Adolescents Around the Time of Disclosure. Child Care in Practice. doi:10.1080/13575279.2021.1902279

Bendiksen, B., Heir, T., Minteh, F., Ziyada, M. M., Kuye, R. A., & Lien, I. L. (2021). The association between physical complications following female genital cutting and the mental health of 12-year-old Gambian girls: A community-based crosssectional study. PLOS ONE, 16, 1-15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0245723

Ibrahim, A. J. M., Bulhan, B., & Johansen, R. E. B. (2021). Frivillige organisasjoners tiltak mot kjønnslemlestelse – innsats og erfaringer: En gjennomgang av 30 prosjekter som har mottatt støtte fra IMDI i perioden fra 2008 til 2016. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress.

Johansen, R. E. B., & Ahmed, S. A. E. (2021). Negotiating Female Genital Cutting in a transnational context. Qualitative Health Research, 31(3), 458-471. doi:10.1177/1049732320979183

Lien, I. L. (2021). Health workers and Sub Saharan African women’s understanding of equal access to healthcare in Norway. PLOS ONE, 16(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0255934

Ziyada, M. M., & Johansen, R. E. B. (2021). Barriers and facilitators to the access to specialized female genital cutting healthcare services: Experiences of Somali and Sudanese women in Norway. PLOS ONE, 16(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0257588

Johansen, R. E. B. (2020). The applicability of the theory of planned behavior for research and care of Female Genital Cutting. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01716-9

Lien, I. L. (2020). Is the Ritual of Female Genital Mutilation an Event that Will Generate traumatic stress reaction for cut children? Cases from the Gambia, Eritrea and Somalia. In S. Johnsdotter (Ed.) Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting – The Global North and South (pp. 131-159). . doi:10.24834/isbn.9789178771240

Lien, I. L., & Hertzberg, C. (2020). A system analysis of the mental health services in Norway and its availability to women with female genital mutilation. PLOS ONE, 15(11), 1-19. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0241194

Rueness, J., Augusti, E. M., Strøm, I. F., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Myhre, M. C. (2020). Adolescent abuse victims displayed physical health complaints and trauma symptoms during post disclosure interviews. Acta Paediatrica, 109(11), 2409-2415. doi:10.1111/apa.15244

Ziyada, M. M., Lien, I. L., & Johansen, R. E. B. (2020). Sexual norms and the intention to use healthcare services related to female genital cutting: A qualitative study among Somali and Sudanese women in Norway. PLOS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0233440

K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (2019). Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak [Violence in close relationships – perspectives, consequences and measures] Norwegian only. Universitetsforlaget.

H. F. Aakvaag & I. F. Strøm (2019). Vold i oppveksten: Varige spor? En longitudinell undersøkelse av reviktimisering, helse, rus og sosiale relasjoner hos unge utsatt for vold i barndommen [Does childhood exposure to violence have a lasting impact? A longitudinal study of revictimization, health, substance use, and social relations among young people who were subjected to violence during childhood] Norwegian only. (Rapport 1/2019).

Birkeland, M. S., Strøm, I. F., Myhre, M. C., & Thoresen, S. (2019). Am I an island? A network analysis exploring aspects of social landscapes after childhood violence. Psychological Trauma. doi:10.1037/tra0000483

Bjørnholt, M. (2019). The social dynamics of revictimization and intimate partner violence: an embodied, gendered, institutional and life course perspective. Nordic Journal of Criminology, 20(1), 90. doi:10.1080/14043858.2019.1568103

Bjørnholt, M. (2019). Theorising sexual violence in intimate relations in Scandinavia: a literature review. In M. B. Heinskou, M. L. Skilbrei & K. Stefansen (Eds.) Rape in the Nordic Countries: Continuity and Change. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780429467608

Bjørnholt, M. (2019). Vold i parforhold – fortsatt et likestillingsproblem. In K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (Red.) Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak (pp. 33-48). Universitetsforlaget. doi:10.18261/9788215032320-2019-02

Bjørnholt, M., & Helseth, H. (2019). «Jeg ville jo si nei» – seksuell vold i parforhold. In K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (Red.) Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak (pp. 86-104). Universitetsforlaget. doi:10.18261/9788215032320-2019-05

Bjørnholt, M., & Helseth, H. (2019). Kvinner er mest utsatt for vold i parforhold.

Bjørnholt, M., & Helseth, H. (2019). Vold i parforhold – kjønn, likestilling og makt [Intimate partner violence – gender, gender equality and power] Norwegian only. (Rapport 2/2019).

Eidhammer, S. E., Jahr, H. L., Blix, I., & Jensen, T. K. (2019). Traumefokusert kognitiv atferdsterapi for barn og ungdom med PTSD og kompleks PTSD. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening.

Grøvdal, Y. (2019). “Ikke verdt å gå til politiet med”: Om vold i parforhold som ikke er anmeldt [«Not worth telling the police”. Intimate partner violence that has not been reported] Norwegian only. (Rapport 5/2019).

Karlsen, M., & Karlsen, M., & Skjørten, K. (2019). Barns rett til beskyttelse i foreldretvister om samvær – hvilken innflytelse har Rt. 2013 s. 1329 hatt på lagmannsrettspraksis. Tidsskrift for familierett, arverett og barnevernrettslige spørsmål, 17(1), 53-74. doi:10.18261/issn.0809-9553-2019-01-03

Myhre, M. C., Syringen, F., & Augusti, E. M. (2019). Helse hos barn som kommer til Statens Barnehus. In K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (Red.) Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak (pp. 270-286). Universitetsforlaget. doi:10.18261/9788215032320-2019-15

Rueness, J., Myhre, M. C., Strøm, I. F., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Dyb, G., & Thoresen, S. (2019). Child abuse and physical health: A population-based study on physical health complaints among adolescents and young adults. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. doi:10.1177/1403494819848581

Rueness, J., Myhre, M. C., Strøm, I. F., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Dyb, G., & Thoresen, S. (2019). The mediating role of posttraumatic stress reactions in the relationship between child abuse and physical health complaints in adolescence and young adulthood. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 10(1). doi:10.1080/20008198.2019.1608719

Saur, R., & Grøvdal, Y. (2019). Beskyttelse og verdighet: Handlemåter hos kvinner som ikke kontaktet hjelpeapparatet mens de levde med vold fra mannlig partner [Protection and dignity: How women who did not contacted the health and social services acted while living with intimate partner violence] Norwegian only. (Rapport 6/2019).

Skjørten, K. (2019). Samvær med tilsyn i saker etter barneloven. In K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (Red.) Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak (pp. 195-214). Universitetsforlaget. doi:10.18261/9788215032320-2019

Skjørten, K., Bakketeig, E., Bjørnholt, M., & Mossige, S. (2019). Vold i nære relasjoner – et felt i bevegelse. In K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (Red.) Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak (pp. 13-29). Universitetsforlaget. doi:10.18261/9788215032320-2019-01

Bersvendsen, A., & Hauge, M. I. (2018). Da skjønte jeg at nå smeller det snart: Voksne som opplevde vold i barndommen ser tilbake. Tidsskriftet Norges Barnevern, 95(02-03), 96-109. doi:10.18261/ISSN.1891-1838-2018-02-03-03

Bjørnholt, M. (2018). Bokanmeldelse av May-Len Skilbrei og Kari Stefansen: Seksuell vold: En samfunnsvitenskapelig innføring. Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning, 59(4), 419-422. doi:10.18261/issn.1504-291X-2018-04-08

Bjørnholt, M. (2018). How to Make What Really Matters Count in Economic Decision-Making: Care, Domestic Violence, Gender-Responsive Budgeting, Macroeconomic Policies and Human Rights. In V. M. B. Giorgino & Z. D. Walsh (Eds.) Co-Designing Economies in Transition: Radical Approaches in Dialogue with Contemplative Social Sciences (pp. 135-159). Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66592-4_9

Bjørnholt, M. (2018). Vi mangler kunnskap om vold mot dyr og vold mot mennesker. Dagsavisen – Nye Meninger.

Bjørnholt, M. (2018). Voldtekt i forholdet er vanligere enn man tror. Bergens Tidende.

Bjørnholt, M., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2018). Measuring violence, mainstreaming gender; does adding harm make a difference?. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 2(3), 465-479. doi:10.1332/239868018X15366982109807

Bjørnholt, M., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2018). Vold i parforhold er ikke likestilt. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).

Johansen, R. E. B., Ziyada, M. M., Shell-Duncan, B., Kaplan, A., & Leye, E. (2018). Health sector involvement in the management of female genital mutilation/cutting in 30 countries. BMC Health Services Research, 18(240). doi:10.1186/s12913-018-3033-x

Kiamanesh, P., & Hauge, M. I. (2018). “We are not weak, we just experience domestic violence”—Immigrant women’s experiences of encounters with service providers as a result of domestic violence. Child & Family Social Work, 1-8. doi:10.1111/cfs.12615

Sandmoe, A. (2018). Eldre utsettes for overgrep – hva så.

Strøm, I. F., Aakvaag, H. F., Birkeland, M. S., & Thoresen, S.Felix, E. (2018). The mediating role of shame in the relationship between childhood bullying victimization and adult psychosocial adjustment. [El papel mediador de la verguenza en la relacion entre la victimizacion por acoso en la infancia y el ajuste psicosocial de los adultos]. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 9(1). doi:10.1080/20008198.2017.1418570

Syringen, F. (2018). Skammens tause tyngde: Traumerelaterte vansker hos barn og unge i etterkant av tilrettelagt avhør som fornærmede i vold- og overgrepssaker.

Thoresen, S., Aakvaag, H. F., Strøm, I. F., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Birkeland, M. S. (2018). Loneliness as a mediator of the relationship between shame and health problems in young people exposed to childhood violence. Social Science and Medicine, 211, 183-189. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.06.002

Aakvaag, H. F., Thoresen, S., Strøm, I. F., Myhre, M. C., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2018). Shame predicts revictimization in victims of childhood violence. A prospective study of a general Norwegian population sample. Psychological Trauma, 11(1), 43-50. doi:10.1037/tra0000373

Langballe, Å., & Davik, T. (2017). Sequential interviews with preschool children in Norwegian Barnahus. In J. Susanna, K. Stefansen, E. Bakketeig & A. Kaldal (Eds.) Collaborating against child abuse: Exploring the Nordic Barnahus model (pp. 165-183). Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-58388-4_8

Sandmoe, A., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2017). Vold og overgrep mot eldre personer i Norge: En nasjonal forekomststudie. (Rapport 9/2017).

Strøm, I. F., Hjemdal, O. K., Myhre, M. C., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Thoresen, S. (2017). The social context of violence: A study of repeated victimization in adolescents and young adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35(11-12), 2210-2235. doi:10.1177/0886260517696867

Vorland, N., & Skjørten, K. (2017). Barn i krise: Samarbeidet mellom barnevern og politi. (Rapport 4/2017).

Aakvaag, H. F., Thoresen, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Dyb, G. (2017). Adult victimization in female survivors of childhood violence and abuse: the contribution of multiple types of violence. Violence against Women, 23(13), 1601-1619. doi:10.1177/1077801216664427

Hauge, M. I. (2016). Barn og unges deltagelse i forskning om sensitive og erfaringsnære hendelser. In C. Øverlien, M. I. Hauge & J. H. Schultz (Red.) Barn, vold og traumer. Møter med unge i utsatte livssituasjoner. (pp. 253-264). Universitetsforlaget.

Myhre, M. C. (2016). Helsepersonell i møte med barn og unge som har opplevd omsorgssvikt, vold og seksuelle overgrep. In C. Øverlien, M. I. Hauge & J. H. Schultz (Red.) Barn, vold og traumer. Møter med unge i utsatte livssituasjoner. (pp. 169-182). Universitetsforlaget.

Ravn, A. K. L., & Skjørten, K. (2016). Offentlig oppnevning av tilsynsperson i samværssaker etter barneloven [Child custody cases: Supervised visit-arrangements for children and parents] Norwegian only. Tidsskrift for familierett, arverett og barnevernrettslige spørsmål, 14(2), 201-221. doi:10.18261/issn.0809-9553-2016-02-06

Sandmoe, A. (2016). Kommunale handlingsplaner mot vold i nære relasjoner – også for eldre utsatte? [Does municipal action plans against violence in close relationships include elderly victims?] Norwegian only. (Rapport 9/2016).

Thoresen, S., & Myhre, M. C. (2016). Tiden leger ikke alle sår. Vold og traumer i et livsløpsperspektiv. In C. Øverlien, M. I. Hauge & J. H. Schultz (Red.) Barn, vold og traumer. Møter med unge i utsatte livssituasjoner. (pp. 150-166). Universitetsforlaget.