Violence in Intimate Relationships

What is violence in Intimate Relationships

Malpractice in intimate relationships is defined as violence, other offenses or maltreatment. A sentence of 6 years is given for this type of crime.

Other offenses is a important part of malpractice in intimate relationships. It is intended to capture the mental terror that can occur in the close relationships. It is very often not a single event, but often more repeated events.

The abuse can be defined as coarse pursuant if it has caused injury. It may also be defined as coarse if its duration has been long or it has been committed to a defenseless person. The penalty is 15 years prison.

A defenseless person can be a child, as they have no opportunity to defend themselves. The author Aas defines intimate terror as coarse and repeated abuse characterized by power and dominance (Aas, 2013, p. 10).

Fig: There has been an increase in maltreatment in close relationships in Norway (SSB)

There has been a large increase in the number of arrests caused by violence in intimate relationships. In 2005 there were 500 cases, whereas in 2017 it was almost 4000.

Who is the victim?

Geir AAs

Women in relationships are victims in 90 % of cases (Aas, 2013, s 3). Often the woman has one or more children in the relationship, usually the father of the children is the perpetrator.


Two out of three reports for violence in close relationships are abandoned. The police encourages to call so they can look into new cases. The reasons why so many things are abandoned are:

  • Evidence - There is not enough evidence.

  • Children - Women withdraw the police report because they have children with the perpetrator.

  • Economy - The woman will not report her perpetrator because the man has full control over the economy in the relationship.

  • Do not want punishment - The victim does not want the man to be punished, instead she wants help.

  • Afraid of reprisals - Women may wish that the police doesnt make criminal charges due to reprisals from the man. She also could contact the police to show dominance (Aas, 2013, s 19).

The police have no duty to investigate, but the European Human Rights Convention says that violence in intimate relationships should be investigated.

The ideal victim

When the police arrive at a home where there has been abuse and where the woman does not want to cooperate it will lead to difficulties for the police. Nils Christie describes the idle victim, and in this case an ideal victim would be a woman with bruising and a blue eye.

The idle victim must also be strong enough to have her case heard (Christie, 1986, 19-19), so she may wish that the man should be arrested.

If the police do not meet the ideal victim, they will not have as good case as they wanted. Women want understanding and care. They want the man to get help for his anger. The police on the other hand will have a criminal case (Aas, 2013, s 22).


Statistisk sentralbyrå. (2018).

Aas, G. (2013). Politiets erfaringer med, og håndtering av, volden i naere og familiaere relasjoner. Oslo: Politihøgskolen

Christie, N. (1986). The ideal victim. I E. A. Fattah (Red.), From crime policy to victim policy: Reorienting the justice system. London: Macmillan. (13 s.)