Violence in intimate relationships Norway  

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81en_vio ... Violence


Norway : treatment program for men who batters

by Grethemor Skagseth Haugan

Jim Aage Nøttestad


Corresponding author: Grethemor Skagseth Haugan

Norwegian university of Science and Technology.

Section for Forensic Psychiatry. Brøset

P.o. Box 1803 Lade. N -7440 Trondheim.Norway.

Phone + 47 - 73 91 65 80

Telefax + 47 - 73 90 14 77

E-mail : rsbroset(AT)


Anger and domestic violence has been recognised as a social problem worth clinical attention and systematic research. Domestic violence is the use of physical force by one adult member of the household against another adult member. However, this term is most frequently used as an euphemism for wife battering. Domestic violence differs from other forms of interpersonal violence in that family members lives in the environment where they are at risk of repeated injury.


Brøset Regional Secure Unit established in 1998 an voluntary outpatient treatment program based on cognitive behavior therapy for men who batters.

From the start until november 1999, 80 men has seeked treatment.

This paper is a preliminary report based on the first 50 men that were refered to this treatment project.






The first 50 men refered to our treatment program for men who batters came from mid Norway.

Batterers are not sentenced to treatment in Norway refered means that they

 19 (38%) was referred from out-patients departments, seven (14%) from family counseling officies, five (10%) from general practioners, seven (14%) was self- referred they had heard about the treatment program on the radio, or read about it in the newspaper.

All men are norwegian except one who came from sentral Asia


When we receive an application by telephone or mail, we are meeting the man within three days.The reason that is early contact may reduce the dropouts.


The treatment program starts with an assessment section.

The aim of this section is

a) to motivate the man for treatment

b) to assess their use of violence

c) to assess menthal health problems and personality traits

d) to reffer the men who are openly psychotic to others and mostly outpatient psychiatric services

e) to exclude men who neither speaks or understand the norwegian language.

The men had the opportunity to take their partner with them once in the assessment section. The aim is to tell them about the treatment program. If in need, the woman can contact the treatment program all the time.



Data were collected with:

A registration form wich include demographic measures, a detailed history of all expressions of anger, assault, and impulse problems.


Karolinska Scale of Personality, (KSP; Scalling, 1986) The scale is presented as a self-report form and the client are asked to indicate 1 out of 4 alternative responses. The 4 response alternatives are : Applies very well, applies to som extent, does not apply very well, does not apply at all to the 135 questions grouped in 15 subscales: Somatic anxiety, Muscular tension, Social desirability, Impulsivness, Monotony avoidance, Distance preference, Psychatenia, Socialization, Indirect aggression, Verbal aggression Irritability, Suspecion, Guilt and Inhibition of aggression.


The Symptom Checklist- (SCL- 90- R ) (Derogatis et al,1973) comprises of 90 questions grouped in 9 components of psychopatahology (Somatization, obsessive -compulsive, interpersonal-sensivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation and psychoticsm.The scale are presented as a self- report form where the client are asked to indicate 1out of 5 alternative responses. The response alternatives are from “not at all” to “very much” Montgomery And Åsberg`s graduatio-scedule for depression and change in depression. (MADRS) J.Davidson et al. 1986) The scale are based on an intervju with nine items, apparent sadness, reported sadness, inner tension, reduced sleep, reduced appetite, poor concetration, lassitude, inability to feel, pessimism-guilt,suicedal thoughts. The sex respons alternetives are from 0-no problem, to the highest score 6 -serious problem.




Those who dropped out befor the first 10 hours in the treatment program is scored as dropouts. Those who dropped out later reseived a letter motivating them for further treatment, befor they were scored as dropouts. Many abusers who apply for treatment do not complete the assessment or treatment phases. The total of dropouts in our study is 19 (38%), of these tree (6%) are reffered to outdoor treatment, four (8%) are excluded because they did not spoke the norwegian language or they could’t manage to be sober in the assessment period.

We could not find any differences between the dropouts and the treatment group on demographic factors such as age, education and income. Age

The mens age ranges from 18 to 51 years the mean is 34,94 years the median age is 34 years.  



Near half of the men 20 (40%) have primary and secondary school (nine years), and 26 (52%) had high school (12years), and four (8%) hold a college or a university degree(more than 12years). The proportion of men with a primary and secondary school in South Trøndelag county are 23.8% and 54.4 % had a high school education, with a college or a university there are 21.8%.



The mens mean income is 198.840 norwegian krones the mediean are 200.000 krones, The mens main income is the same as the mean income in Norway (The National Bureau of Statistics) the mean income in South-Trøndelag county are for men is 225,625 krones


Employment status

More than the half, 31(62%) are employed, six (12%) were reported sick tree of these are now back in work half way in the treatmentprogram. Only five (10%) men were disabled pensioners, only five (10%) were unemployed, tree of these men are now back in work.

One (2%) on social security, and there were two (4%) students. In the South Trøndelag county it is three point five percent of the population are unemployed.


The relationship

Marital status                    n       %

Dating                                 1        2

Cohabiting                        27       54

Divorced/separated          4         8

Married                               16     32

Total                                   50     100


In our study more than half of the men are cohabiting 27 (54%) one third is married 16(32%)

nearly to third of the men 32 (64%) have childreen with the women they had battered at all 58 childreen and 15 (30%) of the women have 28 childreen from earlier relationship, and 18 (36%) of the men has 24 childreen from earlier relationship.


Dating- time

The mean dating time is short, after six months 24(48%) of the men live together with the women, mean 1,96, median 2.0, range : 0 - 264 months.


Violence in the mens family of origon.

Nearly half of the men 23 (46%) had witnessed violence against their own mother, and 14 (28%) had witnessed violence against their sisters and brothers.


In earlier relationship 24 (48%) of the men had used violence. Two thirds 31 (62%) of the men reports that their childreen had been vitnessing him using violence against their mothers. Half of the men 25 (50%) are reported to the police because of violence and 17 (34%) of them have been sentenced.

Some of the men eight (16%) are reported to the police because of violence against their partner.


Severe violence                    n                    %

Beat (head)                          32                    64

Choked or strangled           15                    30

Beating (multiple blows)    11                    22

Hit with a fist                        19                    36

Hit with an objekt                  6                    12

Total                                       50                    100


Wife assault varies in its degree of severity, and some studies distinguish between “minor and severe assaults”. Severe assaults refers to violence that is often life threatening and includes beatings, hitting with the fist or an object. The table shows the degree of severe violence

The men 11(22%), who had beating (multiple blows) their partner 64% of these have done it so many times that they could’t count it.


Mild physical violence                                                          %

Hit against the body                                         25                    50

Pushed/ shaked                                                 39                    78

Hold against the wall/ throw her down         40                    80

Total                                                                   50                    100

The rates of mild physical violence are higher than the rates of severe violence


Psychological violence                                       %

Insults                                               39                    78

Thereats                                            45                    90

Intense jealousy/ crossexamines  33                    66

Total                                                  50                    100


Those using psychological violence also used another form of violence like push or shake her and hold her against the wall or throw her down.


Sexual violence                                                          n                     %

Forced himself to have sex with the partner         9                    18

Against earlier partners                                           6                    12

Against strangers                                                      4                    8

Against childreen                                                      3                    6

Total                                                                           50                    100


Among the fifty men tree of them, committed sexual abuse against their daughters and were arrested.


Material violence                                       %

Hit the table or the wall         33                    66

Destruction of property        34                    68

Total                                        50                    100


The men 34(68 %) destroys property, it can be the ornaments that the women loves, but they also destroys their own property like some bicycles or their own cars.


In our study we only found that tree (6%) with a decleared drugproblem.

Menthal health and personality traits

We have not used any standardised personality inventories. But we have used Karolinska Scale of Personality, and the result indicates an predominance of personality dissorders with a lack of impulse controll, antisosial personality disorder the narcisstic and borderline personality dissorder .

As we can see at the The Montgomery and Aasbergs Depression Scale sevaral of the men are depressed.


MADRS                                                           n                     %

Not in need of treatment (score0-12)          26                    52

Mildly depressed (score 13-19)                    7                    14

Seriously depressed (score 20-34)              17                    34


On SCL-90 R 30 ( 60%) of the men has a higher score than the rest of the Norwegian population.


Treatment evaluation

The treatment are based on the cognitive-behavioural approach. The outcome research in this area, however is still to rudimentary to serve as a guide or a justification for any particular way of working.


Evaluation                    women                                       men

                                      n                    %                    n                    %

yes                              8                    73                    11                    100

no                                3                    27                       0                    00

Total                          11                    100                  11                    100


The men and there women still living together have evaluated the treatment result after 6 months independent of each others. The results shows that 100% of the men and 73% of the women says they are satisfied, of the 11 menwho had finished treatment, all of them said that the treatment had been is effective and that they had stopped using physical violence.  


Violence in Intimate Relationships Internet Resources

Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse - Electronic Clearinghouse  

National Center for Victims of Crime  

Safe Transitions Domestic Violence Intervention Program

This is a program in Massachusetts, but the website has lots of general information about domestic violence, including an excellent article, "Myths About Partner Abuse."

Violence Against Women Office

U.S. Dept. of Justice website with great links, grant information, statistics, and more.  

Liz Claiborne Relationship Abuse Website

This designer has a foundation which produces excellent booklets (downloadable or free for single copies) about domestic violence, dating violence, and healthy relationships for kids. 

Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls

Full text of research article in the Journal of the American Medical Association detailing the high level of violence teen girls experience in dating relationships.  

Child Abuse Resources 

Is Domestic Violence Child Abuse?

A thought-provoking article about the responsibilities of battered women toward their children.  

Stalking Fact Sheet for Students

Developed by Penn State, the basic information is excellent. Your local contacts are Counseling and Career Services (7720) and the Office of Public Safety (7777).  

Sexual Assault Information Page

Links to information on rape and childhood sexual abuse, including adult survivor issues. 



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