Topic: Violence and abuse

Safety, violence and quality of life in Norway

The project “Safety, violence and quality of life in Norway” is a nationwide prevalence study that investigates Norwegian men and women’s feelings of safety, and how many have experienced violence, harassment, threats, loss and other serious life events. This survey gathers information as to how these events can be associated to quality of life and Health.

 
2010 This project has been completed 2019

Project Manager

Project Members

Main objective

Little is known of how widespread violence and abuse is within the Norwegian population. In the governments’ white paper on “Violence in Close Relationships, the Turning Point,” it is clearly emphasized that more knowledge is needed to prevent and reduce the occurrence of such violence.  The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has therefore assigned the National Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, NKVTS, the task of investigating the prevalence of violence within the Norwegian population. In this study both violence in close relationships and other violence will be investigated to see its association with quality of life and health.
This survey will investigate how many individuals amongst the Norwegian population have been subjected to violence, sexual abuse/rape, harassment, loss, neglect and other difficult life situations. This survey will also investigate the proportion of individuals in Norway that feel safe and have experienced a good childhood.  What effect does violence and harassment have on health and quality of life? There will also be questions asking if those subjected to violence sought out help in connection to the violence.    

Method

This survey will interview a randomly selected representative group of Norwegians comprising of 2000 men and 2000 women ages 18-74 years old, and an equivalent selection of adolescents 16 and 17 years of age consisting of 1000 girls and 1000 boys. Those randomly selected from the National Registry will be sent a letter containing both information and an invitation to participate in the study. Afterwards they will be interviewed by telephone by Ipsos MMI for NKVTS. Those who do not wish to participate can either decline before being telephoned or decline their participation upon being contacted by Ipsos.  Those who want to participate but who do not want to be interviewed by phone can answer the questionnaire online.  
The use of a telephone interview enhances the opportunity to ask follow-up questions for those who have experienced serious life events. It also enables the interviews to be short in cases where the individual has not experienced violence. Also misunderstandings can be clarified throughout the interview whilst conducting a telephone interview.

The following will be asked 

• The informants’ background information
• Their feeling of safety
• Exposure to violence and abuse and other stressful life experiences in child- and adulthood
• Emotional reactions and subjective health
• Social support
• Subjective life quality
• Use of health services in connection to the stressful life events
• Contact with police officers and judicial system   

 

Further information

This survey is approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) and will follow the Health Research Law and Personal Identifiable Information Law.  All parties involved in carrying out the survey are under a confidentiality clause. Each informant is assigned an identity number and a key linking an individuals name to their identity number will be kept safe and locked away. All personal information from the interviews will be unidentified. The researchers will not have access to the informants’ names or other identifiable personal information.   All informants will have the right to review the information registered on their person and be able to correct mistakes, if or when found.

 
The surveys’ results will be published in international journals. Reports in Norwegian will be published and results published on NKVTS’ webpage. More importantly these results will be reported back to government officials who can utilize these results in the development of policies involving health, social and judicial services intended for those subjected to violence. The results will also be used for long-term strategies that aim in reducing the prevalence of violence.

NKVTS will collaborate with Professor Dean Kilpatrick, Medical University of South Carolina and John Boyle at the American data collecting research firm, SRBI. Kilpatrick and Boyle have already completed three equivalent national studies in the US.
The Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association (NKS) is financing one PhD study associated with this survey.
Professor Miranda Olff at the University of Amsterdam will be involved as an international collaborator of the survey.

This research project is financed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. The conduction of this survey will be a collective endeavor between NKVTS and Ipsos MMI. NKVTS will be responsible for the construction of the questionnaire and the analysis and presentation of the results. Ipsos MMI will be responsible for conducting the telephone interviews.
   

Publications

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

Strøm, I. F., Aakvaag, H. F., & Wentzel-Larsen, T. (2019). Characteristics of Different Types of Childhood Violence and the Risk of Revictimization. Violence against Women, 25(14), 1696-1716. doi:10.1177/1077801218818381

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

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

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., Strøm, I. F., & Thoresen, S. (2018). But were you drunk? Intoxication during sexual assault in Norway. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 9. doi:10.1080/20008198.2018.1539059

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

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

Aakvaag, H. F. (2017). Vær en superhelt. Oslo: Visual lab.

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

Dyb, G., Glad, K. A., Hafstad, G. S., Holt, T., Myhre, M. C., Skjørten, K., Thoresen, S., Warp, S. K., & Hauge, M. I. (2016). Juridiske, etiske og metodiske problemstillinger ved gjennomføring av omfangsundersøkelser med barn og unge om vold og seksuelle overgrep. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 5/2016).

Magruder, K. M., Kassam-Adams, N., Thoresen, S., & Olff, M. (2016). Prevention and public health approaches to trauma and traumatic stress: a rationale and a call to action. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7. doi:10.3402/ejpt.v7.29715

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.

Aakvaag, H. F. (2016). Skammen etter volden. Dagbladet.

Aakvaag, H. F. (2016). Violence, revictimization and trauma-related shame and guilt. An investigation of event characteristics and mental health correlates among violence-exposed men and women from the general population and among Young Survivors of a terrorist attack. Oslo: Univeristetet i Oslo. (Dissertation).

Aakvaag, H. F. (2016). Voldsofre skammer seg og føler skyld. Folkehelsen : Sanitetsforeningens blad.

Aakvaag, H. F. (2016). Voldsofre sliter med skam og skyldfølelse. Psykisk helse, 7-7.

Aakvaag, H. F., Thoresen, S., & Øverlien, C. (2016). Vold og overgrep mot barn og unge – definisjoner og typologisering. In C. Øverlien, M. I. Hauge & J. H. Schultz (Red.) Barn, vold og traumer. Møter med unge i utsatte livssituasjoner. (pp. 265-280). Universitetsforlaget.

Aakvaag, H. F., Thoresen, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Dyb, G., Røysamb, E., & Olff, M. (2016). Broken and guilty since it happened: A population study of trauma-related shame and guilt after violence and sexual abuse. Journal of Affective Disorders, 204, 16-23. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.06.004

Kolstad, J.T. og Smith, C.N. (2015). Seksuelle overgrep mot barn i Norge: Hvilke faktorer henger sammen med hemmelighold?. Oslo: Institutt for psykologi, Universitetet i Oslo. (Mastergradsoppgave, Gruppeoppgave).

Myhre, M. C., Thoresen, S., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2015). Vold og voldtekt i oppveksten: En nasjonal intervjuundersøkelse av 16- og 17-åringer [Violence and rape during childhood: A national interview survey of 16-and 17-year-olds.] Norwegian only. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 1/2015).

Myhre, M. C., Thoresen, S., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2015). Vold, overgrep og alkoholbruk – en ond sirkel. Forebygging.no.

Thoresen, S., Myhre, M. C., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Aakvaag, H. F., & Hjemdal, O. K. (2015). Violence against children, later victimisation, and mental health: a cross-sectional study of the general Norwegian population. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 6, 1-12. doi:10.3402/ejpt.v6.26259

Thoresen, S., & Hjemdal, O. K. (Red.) (2014). Vold og voldtekt i Norge. En nasjonal forekomststudie av vold i et livsløpsperspektiv [Violence and rape in Norway. A national prevalence study with a life course perspective.] Norwegian only. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress.

Strøm, I. F., Thoresen, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Sagatun, Å., & Dyb, G. (2014). A Prospective Study of the Potential Moderating Role of Social Support in Preventing Marginalization Among Individuals Exposed to Bullying and Abuse in Junior High School. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(10), 1642-1657. doi:10.1007/s10964-014-0145-4

Aakvaag, H. F., Thoresen, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Røysamb, E., & Dyb, G. (2014). Shame and guilt in the aftermath of terror: the Utøya Island study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27(5), 618-621. doi:10.1002/jts.21957