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Barnahus Älvsborg

Physical harm or pain caused by being hit, kicked, pinched, or pushed is called violence. Someone saying mean things or making threats that make you feel upset or distressed is also violence. If an adult engages with a child sexually, this is a form of violence known as sexual abuse. Children can be subjected to violence in many different places – at home, at school, online, or in their spare time. Children must always be able to say “no” to adults and other children, and they must be allowed to speak up if something feels wrong. Children always have a right to talk about how they are and to tell someone if they have been subjected to violence. Adults have a responsibility to listen to them and ensure that they get help.

When a child or young person comes to Barnahus, it’s because an adult is concerned about their well-being and welfare. The purpose of Barnahus is to put the child at the centre of the investigation process within a safe and child-friendly environment. Children who are thought to have been subjected to violence and abuse should not be passed between different authorities and made to tell their story over and over again. At Barnahus, professionals come to the child, and the child’s best interests are always put first.

The social services, the police, prosecutors, doctors from the children’s clinic, and psychologists from BUP are brought together under one roof at Barnahus. The social services investigate the child’s need for protection and support. The police investigate whether a crime has been committed against the child. At Barnahus there are also prosecutors, doctors, and psychologists. Prosecutors make all the decisions in the police’s preliminary investigation into crimes against children. For example, they decide whether the child should be interviewed by the police, and whether the child should be interviewed without their parents. When questioning takes place, the child is brought to Barnahus where they talk to a police interrogator. This is called a children’s interrogation. The conversation with the child is recorded, and other people from the social services can follow the interrogation via a television in an adjoining room. In this way, the child can avoid having to speak at a trial and thus avoid having to tell their story again. 

Every child is entitled to a home environment that is free from violence and abuse. It is the responsibility of their guardian to ensure that their needs and rights are catered for.