For professionals and experts

Involvement of professionals from a variety of organisations and institutions is needed in order to provide sensitive and effective help and support to survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

That is why we work closely and share best practices and information with them.

We know that sexual and domestic violence are complex issues. People who have experienced it so often need support in the form of different services and from different institutions: health, police, social counselling, psychotherapy and others.

The topic of violence experienced can also arise where it may not be obvious at first sight.

Even if you work, for example, as a doctor or social worker in an organisation that does not focus directly on the topic of sexual or domestic violence, it is likely that you will encounter a victim of violence at some point during your work. You may even be the first person they confide in. It is important to know how to respond sensitively and how to support the victim properly. Because the right response can open the way to healing and reduce the negative effects of violence.

Trauma-informed approach is the basis for sensitive communication with victims of violence.

A trauma-informed approach

An approach that starts from the fact that violence is usually a traumatic event in the victim's life. In order to be able to really help them, it is important to know how a person reacts in a stressful/traumatic situation and what the effects and consequences of trauma can be, and to take this knowledge into account when providing services to victims.

What kind of knowledge is it, for example?

Experiencing violence affects each victim differently, and the effects can linger for years after the attack. The effects of trauma include what may not seem at first glance to be a normal reaction: downplaying the violence experienced, apathy, uncontrollable laughter, lack of focus, major behavioural changes, etc.

During a violent attack, many victims freeze: they cannot move, react, scream. It is an automatic defence reaction of our brain. No one consciously chooses this reaction.

With a better understanding of these mechanisms and their effects, you can tailor your communication with the victim: treat them with sensitivity, respect, do not minimize what they have experienced or what they feel, do not blame them.

What are the benefits of this approach?

  • Better understanding of the victim and their different reactions.
  • You prevent secondary victimisation of victims by taking a sensitive approach that takes into account information about the trauma.
  • Overall, this approach helps to create a more sensitive and effective environment for your professional assistance to victims.

We initiated the creation of the Platform.

A platform to help people with experience of sexualised violence

One of the ways in which we are raising awareness of a sensitive approach to victims of violence among the professional community is the Platform for Assistance to Persons with Experience of Sexualised Violence. We initiated its creation in December 2022.

Objectives of the Platform

  • to enable regular meetings and communication among experts from organisations dealing with the topic of sexual violence
  • to strengthen mutual cooperation among the organisations participating in the Platform
  • to facilitate the sharing of good practice in the field of assistance to victims of violence, but also in the field of work with other vulnerable groups
  • strengthen access to expert information on sexual violence: for example, by conducting research or creating a shared database of articles and publications on sexual violence
  • provide specific training: for example, workshops for Platform participants, police and health care workers.

By creating and meeting the Platform, we are thus contributing together to improving the system of help to victims of violence.

Do you encounter the topic of sexual violence in your organisation? Would you like to learn more about the Platform or get involved in its activities? Contact us at

The Platform, the mentioned outputs and this section of the website have been developed within the framework of projects supported by the Norway Grants 2014-2021.

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