Topic: Violence and abuse

Epidemiology: Assessing abuse during pregnancy, screening for violence during prenatal checkups

2005 This project has been completed 2009

Project Manager

Project Members

  • Aschjem, Øyvind
  • Håland, Kristin

Main objective

The objective of the project is to develop methods to disclose violence during pregnancy. The project aims to find out new methods in disclosing violence during pregnancy as well as finding beneficial measures and routines needed for assisting and following up abused pregnant women.


This is a collaborative project with Alternative to Violence (ATV) and an experienced mid-wife has been employed to work on this project. There will also be a range of other assistance services participating in both screening the pregnant women and following-up those who have experienced abuse/violence.

Further information

The Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, NKVTS has on the basis of the Government’s Action Plan «Violence in close relationships», been assigned the task of conducting a pilot project to screen for abuse in order to disclose abuse/violence experienced during pregnancy.

The action plan describes the following objectives “A pilot-study to disclose abuse/violence during pregnancy where at maternity check-ups pregnant women are routinely asked questions concerning abuse and violence.

The project will also include the following:

  • creating an atmosphere where women feel comfortable enough to talk about abuse/violence
  • develop screening methods to disclose abuse/violence
  • find out what other type of information is needed when it is revealed that the woman is being subjected to abuse/violence
  • to ensure that employees at child health care centers have the necessary training skills so that they can adequately respond and assist women who are being abused
  • create systems and procedures in order to follow-up
    a) abused woman, b) other children involved c)the perpetrator
  • to create procedures needed to evaluate the assistance provided for the woman, children and perpetrators.


Hjemdal, O. K., & Engnes, K. (2009). Å spørre om vold ved svangerskapskontroll: Rapport fra et forsøksprosjekt i fire kommuner [Screening for violence during prenatal checkups: A trial in four Norwegian municipalities.] Norwegian only. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 1/2009).