Barnahus child advocacy centers



Belarus, Germany. Moldova, Poland, Sweden

Ulrikah Reihs
[email protected]

Childhood is proactive in improving support for children who have been victims of  to sexual abuse. When a child discloses sexual abuse, he or she often encounters many adults, ranging from police investigators, prosecutors and social services to doctors and psychologists, and has to answer many questions over and over again. In the worst case scenario this process may intensify the child´s trauma. But there are solutions – with the right treatment and support the children can recover from the abuse and thrive in life post abuse.

Child-friendly and legally secure support

Evidence has shown that the Barnahus child advocacy center-model is a child-friendly and legally secure way to help children who have been victims of violence or sexual abuse. The concept originated in the United States, and Iceland was the first European country to introduce the Barnahus model. It was established in Sweden with strong support from Queen Silvia and Childhood. In a Barnahus child advocacy center, multi-professional teams, including all relevant fields of expertise, work together under one roof. One investigator meets the child and listens to what he or she has disclosed. The investigator is specially trained to communicate with abused or violated children and can be a police officer, a psychologist, a social worker or a judge. Thus, the child does not have to repeat their story to several separate authorities and risk re-traumatization. The Barnahus child advocacy centers are designed to meet the needs of the children in a safe, friendly, welcoming and supportive environment.

Childhood continues to contribute to more Child advocacy centers

The Barnahus child advocacy centers are good examples of Childhood’s strategic work – to find a model that works and to implement the competence and knowledge in other countries. In addition to Sweden, Childhood has been involved in introducing the Barnahus model in Belarus, Brazil, Germany, Moldova and Poland.

Photo: private