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What is a crisis shelter?

Crisis shelters are there for those who have been subjected to violence or assault from a partner, family member or other person close to them. You do not need to be experiencing an acute crisis to receive help from a crisis shelter. The shelters offer protection, safety, advice and counselling to women, men and children.

Crisis shelters offer a safe place to live for a limited period, but they also offer a service to people who don’t need to live there. It is free to receive help and live at a crisis shelter. You can visit the shelter directly, without an appointment or referral.

The service comprises:

  • Counselling
  • Help to make contact with the support system
  • Information about rights and possibilities
  • Guidance (including legal advice)
  • Counselling groups and activities
  • Follow-up

You can also call the crisis shelter to get advice. You can remain anonymous, i.e. you don’t have to give your name when you contact a shelter. In addition, relatives of persons subjected to violence, the public support system, schools etc. may contact a crisis shelter to receive information about available help or answers to questions.

Crisis shelters also offer a service for people who don’t need to live there

See this movie about visiting a crisis shelter:


Staff at crisis shelters have relevant training and/or experience of working with violence and assault. The staff have a duty of confidentiality and are therefore not allowed to share any information about you with others without your consent, or if there is a risk to life and health. Other users of the shelter are not allowed to discuss anything concerning your case with others. Crisis shelters can offer an interpreter when necessary.

Every municipality is required to offer a crisis shelter service. It is often the case that multiple local authorities collaborate on one crisis shelter. The majority of crisis shelters are adapted to cater for users with reduced mobility, and the local authority must identify alternative solutions if such provision does not exist.

The Secretariat of the Shelter Movement is a member organisation for crisis shelters and is also responsible for running ROSA, which works with victims of human trafficking used for the purposes of prostitution. You can read more about the Secretariat of the Shelter Movement’s work on its website.

List of all crisis shelters in Norway

The Secretariat of the Shelter Movement’s website (in Norwegian only)


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