Women, men and children can all become the victims of violence and sexual abuse. It can also affect someone who knows someone who has been affected, or who is in the same family as the victim.
Children and adolescents
All children and adolescents have the rights of a life without violence and sexual abuse. Those of us who work at the Follo Crisis and Incest Centre know that many children and young people experience becoming the victims of sexual abuse and/or violence. We know that it can be difficult to tell someone when you are in such a position. It can also be hard to know if that is what you have been exposed to.
What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse is when someone does something to your body that you do not like, or when you are threatened or tricked into doing something you don’t like with the body of another person. For example, you might be tricked or forced into having sex with another person. You might experience someone touching you in a way that you don’t like. You might, for example, have to touch another person’s penis or bottom. Children and young people can also be the victims of sexual abuse when they have to watch other people having sex with each other.
Children and young people can be the victims of sexual abuse committed by people they don’t know and by people they know well.
What is violence?
Violence can be both physical and mental violence. Physical violence could, for example, consist of beating, kicking, using weapons/knives, pulling hair and biting, etc. This type of violence causes injuries which cannot always be seen on the body. Mental violence could, for example, consist of threats, bullying, being criticised, being prevented from having contact with your peers and being told that you are useless. Mental violence causes injuries that cannot be seen. It is the thoughts and feelings of the victim which are hurt.
Many children and young people also experience that adults they care about commit violence against each other. Sometimes children/young people see this, and sometimes they hear it. This is also one of the ways in which children and young people can experience violence.
What is important is that you, as a child/adolescents, know that it is never the fault of the person who is the victim of sexual abuse or violence. This is true, regardless of what people say or don’t say, or what they do or don’t do. It is also important that you tell someone about how you feel. You could talk to an adult you trust. You could also call us at the Crisis and Incest Centre.
We are here for all women who become the victims of mental and/or physical abuse in their close relationships. We are also here for women who have experienced incest or other types of sexual abuse.
Perhaps you are living with a partner or have a boyfriend who says horrible things to you or who is physically violent towards you? Perhaps you have children who live with you? Maybe there are others in your family who are upsetting you or who want to make decisions for you.
How do you actually feel? What is it like being you?
Some women have experienced incest or sexual abuse when they were children or adolescents. Some women have been raped. Some women experience violence committed by their husbands/partners. Some women live with constant abuse. A lot of women say that their everyday lives are not easy. Many say that they are unable to take charge of their lives.
You can come and talk to us about anything that you think is difficult. Perhaps you need help with sorting out your thoughts? If it is not safe for you and your children to be at home, perhaps you need to come and live with us for a while.
Whatever the case, you are more than welcome to contact us.
Can men be the victims of abuse? The answer is definitely “yes”.
There is no doubt that men can become the victims of mental or physical violence in their close relationship, just like women. We also know that men can become the victims of incest or other types of sexual violence. Some men have experienced this when they were children or adolescents, and some are still experiencing it.
An increasing number of men are contacting us at the Crisis and Incest Centre and asking for help. Many men are the victims of mental abuse. Some of them say that they experience verbal abuse, hurtful criticism, being ignored, being questioned and being controlled by their partners. Others say that they are the victims of physical, sexual and material abuse.
We provide the same services for both men and women, as embodied in the Norwegian Crisis Centre Act.
You can come and talk to us about anything that you think is difficult. Perhaps you need help with sorting out your thoughts. If it is not safe for you and your children to be at home, perhaps you need to come and live with us for a while. Whatever the case, you are more than welcome to contact us.
There are no age limits for insecurity.
We know that violence and abuse committed against seniors can occur both in private homes and in institutions. Many seniors talk to us about mental and physical abuse. Some talk about threats, harassment and financial exploitation. Others have experienced sexual abuse. Some have experienced violence and abuse several times during the course of their long lives. The oldest people who have contacted us asking for help have been between 80 and 90 years old.
Are you a victim of violence or abuse? It is never too late to ask for help if you want it. Our services for seniors are the same as those offered to everyone else, no matter your age, gender or nationality.
You are always more than welcome to contact us.
Many people who visit us at the Crisis and Incest Centre come from other countries. Some of them are married to a Norwegian man or woman, while others are married to someone from another country. If you have to leave your family due to domestic violence, or treating you badly, or if you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, you can come to us. Some people in this group are the victims of sexual abuse and need someone to talk to.
We will use an interpreter when speaking to you, if you say that you need one.
- Where will I live?
- How will I get money?
- Can I continue my Norwegian course?
- Is it true that I will lose my children if I ask for a divorce?
- Is it true that I will be sent back to my home country?
- Who can teach me about Norway, about how the system works and about my rights?
- My family say that the people who work at the Crisis Centre are not nice people. Is that true?
- I am in Norway for a family reunion. How can I apply for a residence permit for myself?
- I’m frightened. My family are threatening to hurt me. What can I do?
- If I get divorced I will be completely on my own in Norway. Who can help me?
- I don’t want to get married. Can I say no?
- All the girls in my family have undergone female genital circumcision. I don’t want that! Can I avoid it?
- I need to talk to a lawyer. Can you help me to do that?
We know a lot about all these things and we will help you to find answers. Our Centre is open to both men and women, from all countries, cultures and religions. The Crisis Centre is a safe place for everyone – and you are very welcome!
Family and friends
Do you know someone or are you a relative of someone you are worried about, or do you suspect that they are a victim of maltreatment or sexual abuse?
Perhaps you are a mother or father? Family and friends could also include sisters, brothers, grandparents, other family members, partners or friends. At the Crisis and Incest Centre we know that being a family member or friend can often be difficult. Sometimes whole families can have problems.
At the Crisis and Incest Centre we think that it is important that you, in your capacity as a family member or friend, can have someone to talk to about whatever is causing you problems. You are welcome to call us or stop by for counseling. Some people need several sessions and sometimes we can also offer family and friends the opportunity to participate in self-help groups.