Violence and abuse

The World Health Organization defines violence as: The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.

The WHO also presents a typology of violence which distinguishes four modes in which violence may be inflicted: physical; sexual; and psychological attack; and deprivation. The term violence in close relationships is violence and abuse that is directed towards family members, intimate partners, children, siblings and parents or violence against someone who is a permanent co-inhabitant of the same residence.

The prevalence of violence in Norway seems to have changed little since the end of the 1980’s to present day. Five percent of the Norwegian population, as many women as men state to have been, at some time during their childhood, subjected to severe violence from a parent, while over 20 percent of women and almost eight percent of men state that they have been subjected to sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.

Almost one-third of the population, 22 percent of women and 44 percent of men state being subjected to severe physical violence after the age of 18, while nine percent of women and little below two percent of men have been raped during their lifetime. As many women and men, 17 percent have been subjected to physical violence from an intimate partner. For men this violence was for the most part less severe, while over nine percent of women have been subjected to severe intimate partner violence, for men this percentage is two.

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