Iscensätta barnperspektiv: Före, under och efter Barnahusbesök

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Barnahus in Sweden exist to improve investigations and the collaboration between public agencies when children are suspected being victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. Barnahus are multi-agency collaborations that bring together local authority child welfare services, the police, public prosecutors, paediatric medicine, forensic medicine, and child- and adolescent psychiatry in a child-friendly setting. Children, instead of having to repeat their story to different officials on different occasions, only have to visit one place. At Barnahus, child investigative interviews are conducted by a police officer. The child can be accompanied by parents or legal guardians; however, if they are suspects the child can be summoned to be interviewed without their knowledge or consent. The district court can appoint a special representative who may give consent for investigative interview and/or medical exam, and the child, when collected from preschool or school to the Barnahus, is accompanied by a support person (trygghetsperson) for example, a teacher or a school counsellor.
The study analyses events in connection with children’s visits to Barnahus for investigative interviews. In addition to the actual visit, events before and after are included, such as when children are collected to go to the Barnahus and are returned afterwards. The focus is on what occurs in different places and at different times, and in the transitions between.
The analysis, based on interviews with children (n=8), parents (n=15), and support persons (n=16), applies a dramaturgical perspective, with several theoretical concepts and micro role transitions. The results show that children, parents, and support persons rarely know of the Barnahus before their visit. A support person is expected to provide security for the child in an unfamiliar situation. When summoned and collected from preschool or school, children were not involved nor told what was happening. The Barnahus is staged and adapted to children. During a Barnahus visit, the child is expected to perform in the investigative interview. Children who do not need immediate protection may leave Barnahus after the investigative interview, not knowing what will happen next. They and their support person return to an ordinary day in preschool or school, and their ordinary roles as pupil and teacher. Expectations of the child, the support person, and their relationship change according to the place or transition. Children can face conflicting expectations during the process, for example about telling the truth or white lies. There is an ever-present tension between children as participating actors or as needing protection. Expectations vary by time and place of how children should participate and act or should be more passive. Encounters before, during, and after a visit to Barnahus demand flexibility in relation to each child.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences
  • Social Work


  • Barnahus, child perspective, children as crime victims, support persons (trygghetspersoner), staging, micro role transitions
Translated title of the contributionStaging child perspectives: Before, during and after Barnahus visits
Original languageSwedish
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2021 Jun 18
Place of PublicationLund
  • Lunds Universitet - University of Lund
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2021-06-18 Time: 10:15 Place: Online, Zoom link: External reviewer(s) Name: Höjer, Ingrid Title: Professor Affiliation: Gothenburg University ---

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