Topic: Violence and abuse

Sexual violations in close relationships – perpetrator perspectives

Despite increased public attention to sexual violence in past decades, there are still gaps in what is known about sexual violence in Norway. This holds especially true for sexual violations in close relationships, or between acquaintances. 

2015 This project is ongoing 2021

Project Manager

Project Member

Main objective

This project’s main objective is to acquire new knowledge on sexual violence in close or acquaintance relationships by mainly focusing on the perpetrators’ perspective and description of the act(s) of violence. Many sexual violations occur between people who have an established relationship prior to the occurrence of violence. For this reason, ensuring well-founded knowledge of this specific type of violence and the individuals who commit it is essential. 

This project will include qualitative interviews with a number of men who have committed this type of sexual violence. Interpretation and comprehension, both of the violations and of the perpetrators’ sense-making of themselves following the abuse, will be central analytical tenets. Thus, we will be able to shed light on how these men interpret their own actions. We will examine self-conceptualization, interpretation of acts of sexual violence, situational factors, background factors, life situation and conditions, and motivations, rationalizations and justifications in men who have committed this type of sexual violence.

Subsidiary objectives

Gathered data on sexual violations in close or acquaintance relationships will also be interpreted in the light of already collected data from NKVTS’ prevalence study on violence in close relationships.

Thus, the project will study the following: What are typical situations or sequence of events when sexually violent acts in close relationships occur, and what are the characteristics found within this type of violence? The data collected in NKVTS’ prevalence study may shed light on this issue.


This project will primarily use qualitative methods. The majority of the data will be comprised of semi-structured one-to-one interviews.

Further information

This project is part of the “Violence in Close Relationships” research program at the Norwegian Center of Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (2014-2019).



Kruse, A. E. (2020). The Who, the Why and the Wherefore. Explanations, self-change and social responses in men’s narratives of sexual violations. Oslo, Norway: Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo. (Dissertation).

Kruse, A. E. (2016). Forskningsfronten: Hvor mange er for mange. Morgenbladet.