The Domestic Violence Research Programme

A research programme about violence in close relationships

The Domestic Violence Research Programme is a social science research programme on domestic violence. It aims to generate theory-based knowledge with a long-term perspective that can serve as a basis for preventive and remedial work.

We conduct research on the nature and scope of violence, and how it is dealt with by society. Through a range of large and small projects, our research focuses on:

  • The scope of violence and abuse based on repeated questionnaires among the youth population
  • Sexual abuse and violence, including digital abuse
  • Intimate partner violence in a diverse population
  • The legal system’s handling of domestic violence cases
  • Support services and protection measures
  • Policy design and governance systems
  • Negative social control and honour-related violence

The researchers’ academic backgrounds are in criminology, law, psychology, social anthropology and sociology. We employ both qualitative and quantitative methods.

The theory underlying the programme is based on a broad understanding of the concept of domestic violence as a well as a holistic and intersectional perspective on violence. The programme also builds on an understanding of the causes of violence resulting from the interaction between individual, situational and structural factors.


The Domestic Violence Research Programme is allocated NOK 54 million in core funding (2014–2025) from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, with an additional NOK 19 million from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion (previously from the Ministry of Education and Research). NOVA’s research on domestic violence also includes various research assignments for the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) and the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), among others.

The background for the allocation from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security is described in the 2012 white paper on domestic violence (Report No 15 to the Storting (2012–2013)). The white paper highlighted the close relationship between knowledge, prevention and quality in domestic violence services. The allocation from the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion is based on the Government’s action plan to combat negative social control, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (2017–2020).


Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) at OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University ( is the research institute responsible for the programme.


The programme cooperates with a number of Norwegian research institutions and communities, including the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS), the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (NIH), the Norwegian Police University College (PHS), the Centre for Gender Research (STK) and the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law (IKS) at the University of Oslo.

Dissemination and teaching

We publish the results of our research in scientific articles, reports and books. We also emphasise dissemination through the media, opinion pieces and OsloMet’s own channels, such as web pages, newsletters, social media etc.

The programme organises seminars and conferences for researchers and the field. In 2019, NOVA and NKVTS organised the conference ECDV III (Third European Conference on Domestic Violence) (

The researchers on the programme give guest lectures both at OsloMet and at other educational institutions, and supervise students at different levels of education. The programme has established a master’s grant scheme ( as a means of boosting recruitment to research on domestic violence.

Reference group (2020–2025)

A reference group comprising the following members has been established under the core allocation from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security:

  • Yalila Castro – psychologist, the foundation Stiftelsen Alternativ til Vold
  • Kjersti Ericsson – Professor Emerita, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo
  • Astrid Eriksen – Associate Professor, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Aina Mee Ertzeid – judge, Oslo District Court
  • Kristin Konglevoll Fjell – head of Statens Barnehus in Bergen
  • Gjertrud Hafstad – researcher, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS)
  • Jørn Jacobsen – Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Bergen
  • Henning Mohaupt – specialist psychologist/researcher with the foundation Stiftelsen Alternativ til Vold
  • Trine Myrvold – researcher, NIBR, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Kari Nyheim Solbrække – Professor, Department for Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, UiO

Contact persons

The programme is led by a team comprising the following members:

Kari Stefansen (, Research Professor Email:

Elisiv Bakketeig (, Research Professor Email:

Anja Bredal (, Senior Researcher Email:

For questions about the website and dissemination, please contact Senior Adviser Nina Eriksen (, email: