By law everybody is entitled to a life without fear of violence. Yet, far too many people in Norway suffer in violent relationships. Domestic violence is no private matter. It concerns us all. Are you subjected to violence, threats or duress? Are you afraid, fearful? Are you not sure whether you treat your partner decently? Here you will find important information and answers to questions you might have.

What is «domestic violence»?

The expression domestic violence (also referred to as «family violence», «partner abuse», «battering», etc.) covers all forms of physical and emotional abuse of current or former family members, and its victims include the child witnesses. The expression also covers the crimes of genital mutilation and forced marriage. Domestic violence is a criminal offence under Norwegian law. Rest assured that the police take such matters very seriously.

Various types of domestic violence:

  • Physical
    (striking, kicking, pushing, locking up, isolating, attacking with utensils, strangulating)
  • Sexual
    (abusing sexually or threatening to do so)
  • Vandalising
    (breaking, trashing or throwing objects, striking walls and doors etc.)
  • Emotional / psychological
    (using words and a tone of voice aimed at intimidating, hurting, humiliating etc.)
  • Financial
    (limiting a partner’s access to his/her own or their joint assets)
  • Social
    (isolating, excluding, restricting mobility)
  • Latent
    («Violence in the air» – a certain atmosphere preceding or following an incident)
  • Violence in child rearing
    (corporal and/or emotional punishment to alter the conduct of children or young adults)

Much of this is punishable under Norwegian law, but the degree, frequency or context of the conduct in question will sometimes determine whether it is defined as a criminal offence.



If somebody injures or threatens you, or if you fear they will hurt you, not to mention if you fear for your life, you must go to the police.

Police 02800 or emergency number 112

Most people think of violence in terms of beatings and injuries. But being physically restrained, slapped, harangued, humiliated, isolated or controlled are also examples of violence.

Both men and women can be victims of domestic violence, and both men and women can be perpetrators of domestic violence. However, women are more commonly subjected to systematic serious violence and sexual abuse by their partners than men.

The police will protect people and prevent crimes. You can get advice and assistance if you phone the police and ask to talk to someone who deals with this particular field in your district.


We should all notify the police about incidents of violence or threats or when we fear that somebody is in danger. Your call to the police may be just what the police needed to recognise a dangerous pattern.

Violence is not always overt. For a child, witnessing family violence may be as dramatic as being personally subjected to it. For a child, witnessing violence is downright harmful and may even cause permanent harm. If you are worried about a child, you can notify the child welfare service in your municipality.


Do you sometimes loose your temper? Do you threaten or hurt people around you? It’s more common than we’d like to think. People who hurt others need help too. If you are able to admit that you tend to be violent, you are actually already working on the problem.


We know that extricating oneself from an abusive relationship is not easy. Often the abuse will not stop without help from the outside. New incidents can be prevented if the police are in the know. The police can:

  • receive reports and investigate each matter
  • listen and give advice
  • prosecute
  • take measures to protect victims

The police investigate criminal offences, and they can do so irrespective of the victim’s wishes. It may be a relief for family members or the victim not to have to press charges.

Many victims are not so much keen on punishment as on protection. They want the abuse to stop. In each case, the police will consider how to protect you if you get battered or if you feel threatened.

They can also give information and advice: they can introduce both the victim and the perpetrator to medical professionals, family counselling services, the social services, the child welfare service, a shelter for battered women, a lawyer, the counselling service for victims of crime, depending on the circumstances.



Many of the links below are not in your language. Ask someone you know to translate, or try Google translate.

Police: 02800 (For emergencies phone 112), website politi.no

For adults
Finn krisesenter og overgrepsmottak nær deg (find your local shelter for victims of abuse)
Krisesentersekretariatet, the folder: Legal rights and help for victims of criminal acts in Norway: Norsk, Arabic, English, Somali, Thai, Urdu, Bulgarian, Kurdish, Russian, Sami, Turkish
Din utvei.no, national guidelines of assistance, information and knowledge available on rape and violence
Support center for victims of crime
Vern for eldre (protection of the elderly) phone: 800 30 196
Konfliktrådet (Conflict Resolution Board)
Voldsoffererstatning (victims of violence entitled to state  compensation) Brochures in other languages
Finn bistandsadvokat (find legal counsel)
Phone support about incest: 800 57 000
The Norwegian Foundation Against Sexual Abuse
Dixi – Resource centre against sexual assault
Overgrepsmottak   (your local medical emergency centre)
Familievernkontoret (your local family counselling services or the local public health centre)
Counselling to victims of violent crime, helpline: 800 40 008
ROSA (Resettlement – place of residence – safety – assistance) counselling to victims of human trafficking, phone: 22 33 11 60, www.rosa-help.no
Independent residence permit for victims of violence, www.udi.no/violence
MiRA-senteret (centre for minority-background women)
Helsenorge.no (about domestic violence, sexual abuse and mental health)
Din utvei.no, national guidelines of assistance, information and knowledge available on rape and violence.
Independent residence permit for victims of violence, www.udi.no/vold

For children and young adults
Child welfare service – in your municipality
Barnevernvakten.no (child protection emergencies: find your local emergency centre)
Alarmtelefonen for barn og unge (helpline for children and young adults; phone: 116 111 (in Sami, English, Urdu, Polish, Russian, Dari, Albanian, Serbian/Bosnian, Vietnamese, Turkish, Somali, Tigrinya, French, Spanish )
Statens barnehus (Children’s Houses)
Barneombudet (Ombudsmann for Children )
Barne-, ungdoms- og familiedirektoratet (Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs)
Stine Sofies Stiftelse (Stine Sofies Foundation )
Ung.no (questions and answers about being young)
Stoppvold.no (website made for schools by «alternative to violence»)
Jegvilvite.no (about violence)
Child welfare service – in your municipality

Genital mutilation
Contact a team of specialists on forced marriages and genital mutilation by phone:  478 09 050, or email: kompetanseteamet@bufdir.no
Kjønnslemlestelse (government page about genital mutilation)
Røde Kors-telefonen om tvangsekteskap og kjønnslemlestelse (Red Cross page about genital mutilation and forced marriage) phone: 815 55 201
Spørreside om kjønnslemlestelse på ung.no (questions and answers about genital mutilation)

Forced marriage
Contact a team of specialists on forced marriages and genital mutilation by phone:  478 09 050, or email, kompetanseteamet@bufdir.no
Røde Kors-telefonen om tvangsekteskap og kjønnslemlestelse (Red Cross page about genital mutilation and forced marriage) phone: 815 55 20
Spørreside om tvangsekteskap på ung.no (about forced marriage on ung.no)

Do you need help to cope with violence or aggression?
Familievernkontor (find your local family counselling service)
Alternativ til vold («Alternative to violence»)
Reform.no (Reform – resource centre for men; helpline for men)
Tryggere.no (anger management support)