Topic: Disasters, terror and stress management

The terror attack 22 th of July. The impact of the subsequent legal proceedings on the mental health of the Utøya survivors

This project is a part of the Utøya study at NKVTS; The terror attack 22nd of July. Experience and reactions among Utøya Survivors. There is little information on how traumatized adolescents experience and encounter the judicial system. Through both the perspective of those affected by the terror attack, and from the perspective of the legal professionals involved, this study seeks to acquire knowledge of factors that can reduce stress and create positive experiences in traumatized children- and adolescents during their encounter with the police and judicial system

2012 This project has been completed 2017

Project Manager

  • Langballe, Åse

    Langballe, Åse

    Retired Researcher II / dr. polit., special needs teacher

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Project Members

  • Schultz, Jon-Håkon
  • Laugerud, Solveig

Main objective

Objective The study’s main objective is to acquire knowledge on how adolescents experienced police interrogations and the legal processes after the 22nd of July.

This study will also provide understanding of how the different professionals within the police and judicial system interpret and carry out their role during the terror case’s interrogation and legal processes, and what we can learn from the positive experiences.

This study will also benefit children and adolescents exposed to other types of trauma (violence and abuse both in public and in intimate relationships) during their encounter with the police and judicial system. This projects aims to both generate theories and be of practical use.


The study is qualitative and the following data serves as the foundation of the study:

  • Interviews of adolescents who survived the Utøya attack.
  • Interviews with police officers who had conducted investigative interviews with the adolescents.
  • Observations of videos recorded during these investigative interviews.
  • bservations made in court.


Jakobsen, K. K., Langballe, Å., & Schultz, J. H. (2017). Trauma-exposed young victims: possibilities and constraints for providing trauma support within the investigative interview. Psychology, Crime and Law, 23(5), 427-444. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2016.1269903

Langballe, Å., & Schultz, J. H. (2017). ‘I couldn’t tell such things to others’: Trauma-exposed youth and the investigative interview. Police Practice & Research, 18(1), 62-74. doi:10.1080/15614263.2016.1229185

Langballe, Å., & Schultz, J. H. (2017). Er det skadelig å delta i politiavhør? Å bli avhørt kort tid etter en traumatiserende hendelse kan gi utslag både i positiv og negativ retning. Politiforum.

Laugerud, S., & Langballe, Å. (2017). Turning the Witness Stand into a Speaker’s Platform: Victim Participation in the Norwegian Legal System as Exemplified by the Trial Against Anders Behring Breivik. Law & society review, 51(2), 227-251. doi:10.1111/lasr.12268

Nilsen, L. G., Langballe, Å., & Dyb, G. (2016). “Men hva er det egentlig ment for?” Voldsoffererstatning til de overlevende etter terrorangrepet på Utøya 22. juli 2011 [But what are they actually meant for?” The Utøya Survivors’ Experiences with the State Compensation Scheme
Norwegian only. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 2/2016).