Violence in close relationships occurs in all countries and all cultures and is a large and serious social problem.
In Norway, research conducted by Sentio on assignment for the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs and available at http://www.bufdir.no
has shown that domestic violence victimizes mainly women and children. Women are often the victims of brute violence, where assaults and abuse have been recurrent over several years. In terms of men as victims of violence in close relationships, it is assumed that incidences are largely under-reported. The reasons for this are many, in addition to the fact that men did not have a crisis centre option until the law went into force in 2010. Marriage or partnership should be an expression of respect, care and love between two people who love one another.
Domestic violence alters the universal conception of the home as a safe place.
If you are the victim of violence in a close relationship, it means that you are the target of physical or emotional violence from someone you are fond of, trust and have a relationship with. If you feel afraid in your own home because of factors like those above, contact us so that we can find a solution together.
What is violence?
Per Isdal (2002), in his book The Meaning of Violence, describes violence as:
"Violence is any act directed against another person, who by his/her act hurts, pains, frightensor offends, gets the victim to do something against their will or to stop doing something the victim wants to do” (Isdal, 36: 2002).
The various forms of violence that we normally discuss include:
- Physical violence All forms of physical acts that control or constrain you or hurt you with the purpose of getting you to do something against your will or to stop doing something that you want to do. Examples of this are that you are struck with objects, your skin is burnt, you are choked or tightly restrained, etc.
- Psychological or emotional violence includes all methods and actions used for the purpose of controlling, frightening, hurting or humiliating you. By this we mean that you allow yourself to be dominated by another person who has an underlying power or threatens you. Examples of this can include that you are isolated, blamed (often unjustly), interrogated, ignored, threatened or indirectly intimidated, etc.
- Sexual violence against you includes all acts that violate, frighten, hurt or injure you in such a manner that you are forced to do something that you personally do not agree to do.
- Material violence is all acts whereby physical things and objects are broken or ruined with the purpose of frightening or humiliating you. This can include breaking furniture or belongings, but also destroying things or objects that mean something to you personally. This might include, for example, objects you have inherited from family members or other things that mean something to you. Material violence can thus both frighten and hurt the victim.
- Latent violence is an underlying potential violence (veiled threat). By this, we mean that the violence you are exposed to is the knowledge that you may encounter a form of violence that you have experienced before. This type of violence can be a form of control over you even though there is no active threat on the part of the victimizer.
Frequently those who are victims of domestic violence feel guilt and shame, and many years of abuse have worn away their self-respect. As a victim of violence, you must not wonder whether it is you who should have said or done something differently. Violence is always the responsibility of the abuser, never yours. What you can do, however, is to find the inherent power you have inside yourself, take control over your own life and, if you have children, protect them. Get in touch. We can help you.
We also receive telephone calls at the crisis centre from persons who want to stay in their home relationship, but want the violence to stop. These may include relationships in which one person resorts to violence, or both resort to violence to solve conflicts.
We recommend that you contact the Lofoten og Vesterålen familieovernkontor, which offers anger management courses conducted by professionals with competence in the field. You can also ring the Lofoten and Vesterålen Family Care/Welfare Centre at telephone number 46615660. The only requirement is that the person or persons who use violence truly want to do something about it.