Unfortunately, many victims of domestic abuse end up moving back in with their abuser because they have no alternative.
The Guiding Friend service is available to you when you have broken up with a violent partner and eventually move out of your crisis shelter. If you haven’t lived in a shelter but want a Guiding Friend, the shelter must first make a risk assessment of your situation.
The Guiding Friend is meant to be a source of support and a fellow friend at a difficult time. The relationship between you and your Guiding Friend should feel like two completely equal partners. The aim of the service is to ensure that victims of abuse do not move back to a violent partner. A Guiding Friend can be assigned for up to twelve months, provided that you do not move back to the person who abused you. The Guiding Friend will be able to meet up with you two to four times a month.
Guiding Friends are women volunteers who have been trained in areas such as trauma, violence in close relationships, confidentiality and setting boundaries. The Guiding Friends speak Norwegian but some can also speak English. In some cases, the service can also be provided in other languages.
The scheme is coordinated by local branches of the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association across Norway, in close cooperation with local crisis shelters and the central offices of the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association (N.K.S.) If you would like a Guiding Friend, ask your shelter to contact the local branch of the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association.
Norwegian crisis shelters are listed here and local branches of N.K.S. are listed here.
You can also read more about Guiding Friends and where in Norway this service is provided on the N.K.S. website.